Norton Cyber Security Insights Report - November 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Peter Buttler

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A new survey conducted by Symantec found that consumers are overwhelmed with the concern to protect their devices from cybercriminals.  

The study released today by Symantec has discovered that 79 percent of the consumers are aware that they need to protect their online information, 44 percent felt overwhelmed by the amount of information that they need to protect, while 81 percent said they'd feel devastated if their personal information was compromised. The concerns have raised even after the frequent DDoS attacks of the compromised IoT-devices.  

Director of Security Response at Symantec, Kevin Haley said, "Technology changes so rapidly and those of us in this industry keep on throwing new technology at them," "and I don’t know whether we always make it easy on people to understand."  

Talking about millennials, Haley says he anticipates that as they age, they'll become more cautious about security and have technical skills to protect their devices.   

The Norton Cyber Security Insights reports that hackers seek new technologies to exploit. They adapt to new exploits and scams to take advantage of consumers. According to the report, cyber criminals conducted more than one million web attacks against Internet-connected users in 2015 alone.  

Internet users tend to be naive regarding the security of their IoT devices. The Symantec study shows, 39 percent of consumers don't think that their devices are worth a target and every 6 people on average out of 10 believe that their connected devices are security focused. However, the reality is that only top-tier companies like Philips design its IoT devices with security in mind.   

Symantec recommends users to:  

Avoid password sharing: Roughly 25 percent of people surveyed shared passwords for social media accounts and emails. People don't always understand it's not necessary to be a site or particular device, but any website that you share the same password can expose it.   

Symantec suggests using a combination of at least 10 upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols; and change your passwords every 3 months to keep cyber attackers at bay. If it is too overwhelming to keep track of changes, use a password manager for help.  

Don't go phishing: The study discovered 84% of the consumers surveyed said that they experienced a phishing experience, but 19% complied to that phishing emails and shared their personal information or clicking links.   

Symantec suggests thinking twice before opening any suspicious emails or attachments, specifically from unknown entities, or clicking random links. The email might be from a cybercriminal who has compromised your friends or family social account.  

Lock Home Routers:  When setting up a new network-connected device, such as routers, always remember to change the default password. If you don't plan on using the Internet with smart home appliances, then either disable them or protect remote access when not in use. Also, protect your wireless with high Wi-Fi encryption to secure your internet traffic.  

Many of the routers in homes are usually old and runs older versions of Linux. People should also be aware of router updates. Whether remotely updated by the service provider or manually by the home users.  

Do not share your info on public Wi-Fi networks: Symantec discovered that one in every 3 internet user never uses a VPN while connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. Users are less concerned to install a VPN client on their devices, even though the VPN comes as an add-on in antivirus software. VPN encrypts and protects internet traffic from data sniffing and information breaching by attackers.  

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