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Naturally, in the course of one’s life, we learn that the door of our houses must be always kept locked, as well as the knowledge that it is useless to pay for car insurance after it was stolen. But these, among other things, are not so clear to people when we speak about digital security. Ordinary people are not really aware of the dangers they are exposed to. For example, we know that no one should ever drink and drive, people are somehow aware that there is a danger, but we still see many accidents resulting from drunken driving.
There are many examples of reckless behaviour in the scope of digital security. The most recent one happened on the last 8th of April, in France, when the local TV channel TV5 Monde suffered a cyber attack of great proportions. The Islamic State Jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack. It took the channel out for about 11 hours and it also lost control of its website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
This landmark case reopens some scrutiny over the practice of information security. Firstly, the lack of effort of ordinary people in protecting themselves in the digital world. Secondly, the importance of preventive actions of IT professionals regarding identification and correction of the vulnerabilities.
The investigation of the French case is seeking to find out the vulnerabilities left by the TV Channel that could have made it possible for the attack to happen. We know, for example, that in the course of an interview, a reporter from the TV Channel disclosed, unwillingly, at least one password of a social network of TV5 Monde. It was left out, recklessly, written on a Post-It note.
The same preventive care that we take in our life must be applied to our digital behaviour. If you lock the door of your house to prevent intruders and any other type of thievery, you should give the same care to your access credentials, the user name and password. These are the data that confirm your identity in order to give access to any website. In addition, you must be aware that cyber criminals don’t only attack companies. If you don’t want to suffer either identity theft or leaking of private conversations and stored pictures in your emails or social networks, you should take good care.
The carelessness of people when they access unsafe websites to download pirate software, and also when they access open Wi-Fi, and through these connections, pay bills on internet banking, for example, is making life of digital criminals even easier. It is important to assume that we will be attacked, and that in the digital world we are at risk. Therefore, we must protect ourselves.
Security breaches are nowadays widespread and can come from anywhere. In the digital world, the attacks are just a click away. Please, all we have to do is to follow good security standards and focus our attention on not exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk. Just remember to lock the door.