Minimizing Attack Surfaces On Your Home System

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Our home systems can be extremely vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches if we’re not conscious of how we’re using our technology. Here a few fundamentals that can bring your system security up to par.

Trackers

Silicon Valley’s big technology companies such as Google and Facebook are wealthy and powerful primarily due to advertising revenue they make from collecting information on your online behaviors and activity. Not only is this a reasonable thing to be ethically concerned about, but it creates a large attack area for malware or hackers to exploit. Search engines such as Google use unique identifier cookies to follow you around the internet. There are numerous ways to prevent this from happening, but the most reliable is to switch out your choice of web-browser from Google Chrome to a security hardened alternative such as Firefox, which offers protection against tracking and blocks adverts.

Additionally, if you’re using an Android device, switching away from GBoard to a privacy oriented keyboard such as Fleksy will ensure your key presses are not being recorded. When we use the internet, our IP address (and thus, our physical location) is visible to all who wish to identify it. Using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is an effective way to prevent this from happening. Popular VPNs include Surfshark or NordVPN. Some web-browsers, such as Brave, offer an in-app VPN if you’re looking for a less costly solution.

Dynamic Logins

A key weakness in most security systems is the failure to implement multiple layers of verification to login instances. There are numerous strategies that can be employed in order to harden the security and diminish the attack surface of the login procedure.

Activating two-step verification is a feature you will find in use on most popular secure services you tend to interact with in your daily life, and activating this will make it extremely difficult for someone to access you account. This is because they would require multiple devices registered to your identity and, in some cases, biometric information such as fingerprint scanners in order to do so.

Passwords themselves can still be cracked, however, if your system is compromised with keylogging spyware. One solution that is employed by gaming organizations such as PokerStars as an additional layer of fraud protection is a randomized pin number. What distinguishes this from a password is that, on their user interface, the numbers change position each time effectively blocking accurate keylogging.

Storage Encryption

Modern software solutions utilize cloud technology more than ever before. Being able to access information stored on remote servers is extremely useful in terms of flexibility and the potential for collaboration. It’s not without its drawbacks however, and perhaps the most crucial one of these is the fact that you do not own the servers you’re storing your information on. If that data amounts to a few files and some photos it’s an acceptable risk, but if you’re looking to protect confidential information it can be wise to investigate more security hardened approaches to cloud computing. While in most cases, in order to access your cloud data from platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive, a hacker would need access to your login information, a case can be made for encrypted services. NordVPN have recently launched their take on a cloud storage service. Called NordLocker it enables users to both encrypt local files and folders on their computer, and store data on Nord’s servers under encryption. This extra security hardening means that, should someone get access to your data, they would be unable to decrypt it.

Privacy focused organization pCloud takes this process a step further with their highly security conscious cloud computing solutions. Not only do they offer similarly encrypted online storage to Nordlocker, but they also provide the opportunity for you to set up your own encrypted cloud server and run this locally. What this effectively means, is that you can operate a cloud computing solution with total sovereignty over the hardware involved.

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