The use of the Internet is increasingly determining people’s lives and has become a major and indispensable factor in our day-to-day life.
When the internet was in its early stages, the biggest concern was not to let viruses crawl into our programs and to fight them with firewalls, passwords, and anti-virus programs.
Cybersecurity has changed a lot since then. It is all about protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. Since there are now more devices in the world than people, the attack surface has also increased. And the attackers are becoming ever more adept at accessing sensitive information: Altering or destroying it, extorting money from users, or disrupting normal business processes.
What is cybersecurity?
With the rise of the internet and social media platforms, more and more of our personal data is “out there”: To a skilled hacker, everything about you can be easily accessed, and so corrupted and/or stolen.
According to IBM, “cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks”.
The internet, with its infinite possibilities and temptations, creates a dilemma for us. Many of us don’t want to go without the amenities and advantages being online gives us. But they come at a price, even if we don’t pay money for them. Because, as a famous quote says, “If you don’t pay for the product, then you are the product”. In exchange for many “free” online services, we give away our personal data to companies that might not protect it enough or that might use it against us.
That is why, cybersecurity is not just reserved for the professional anymore, it is something that concerns all of us. According to IBM, “cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks”.
For example, you might have seen a rise in two-factor authentication in a lot of applications: From your Google or Facebook account to your bank or social security accounts. A lot of service providers now require you to enter your phone number or download an app on your phone to connect to them. They also take unseen steps to make sure your personal data are protected from attack, like hiring hackers to test their weak points.
But is that enough to protect yourself?
How your bank protects you and your data
If we take the example of the banking industry, a lot of banks take measures to make sure your personal data are safe. Banking data are one of the most sensitive data that are online and getting them hacked not only means that you could get your identity stolen, but also that your bank account might be accessed by people other than yourself.
For example, when paying online they might ask you to approve the purchase through their app or through your phone. They might also send you regular emails, warning you to never give away your banking data to something you don’t trust, not even them, or giving you tips on current online scams that might try to get access to your banking details.
But on their side, they also take steps to protect your data from hackers and malware: Like hiring hackers to test their systems, having an in-house cybersecurity counselor, having a cybersecurity consulting firm, etc.
Here’s a series of questions you can ask your bank to know how they handle cybersecurity:
- Who oversees the protection of my data?
- Where is my data stored?
- Who can I contact in case of a question related to cybersecurity?
- What happens in case of a breach?
- What measures does my bank take to protect me and my data?
Your bank should know the answer to all those questions.
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