Also recently, researchers came across an unsecured cloud server that contained the names, phone numbers, and financial information of virtually all citizens of Ecuador – around 20 million people.
These are just the latest in a long line of security breaches affecting enterprises over the past few years. The Yahoo!, Equifax, and Marriott hacks and Facebook's scandal should still be fresh in people's memories, reminding everyone that even large corporations with budgets for enterprise cybersecurity may not be secure enough to protect customer information.
These records are now out there, stored in hackers' data dumps, and are potentially tradable over the Dark Web. The availability of such information online increases a person's risk of being victimized through fraud and identity theft and other forms of cyberattacks.
These attacks are often met with outrage by pundits and the public alike. Users expect these organizations to employ top-notch security measures to protect user privacy. Yet users may not be doing enough to keep their own information and computing devices secure.
Users allow websites and applications unbridled access to their devices and information. Most also rely on free and standard antivirus software to protect their computers, which aren't enough to mitigate new forms of privacy-invasive cyberattacks.
Fortunately, new solutions are emerging to help users safeguard themselves from these modern threats. Reason cybersecurity is a security solution designed to be privacy-focused and can protect users across various potential attack vectors.
Reason CTO and Founder Andrew Newman shared, "We often feel angry when our records get stolen through security breaches on companies we do business with. We trust them and fully expect them to protect our privacy. However, if we check how we secure our own personal information and digital privacy, we might realize that we aren't doing much. When was the last time you checked your PC for malware and trackers? Or made sure that your account credentials are highly secure? It's high time that we invest in our security and privacy ourselves."
How Reason Protects Privacy
Modern security solutions can help users to safeguard themselves from modern threats better. However, instead of investing in capable security solutions, users typically rely on free software that is incapable of detecting modern malware.
This leaves them extremely vulnerable to attacks that could compromise their privacy.
Users should look towards investing in privacy-focused solutions like Reason. Reason offers a comprehensive personal security suite that includes essential features that can counter such attacks.
1) Antivirus and Anti-malware — At its core, Reason is an antivirus that offers real-time protection against malicious files and processes. Its detection engine is backed by a database of over a million samples.
The database constantly grows through continuous updates and community submissions, allowing the software to be accurate and keep up with new and emerging threats.
2) Microphone and Camera Protection — Reason also safeguards users from remote access tools that are used by hackers to access and control communication devices such as webcams and microphones.
Hackers have also been tapping into these peripherals to record private calls and videos that can be used for extortion or be sold on the dark web.
Reason's microphone and camera protection warns users of any attempts by applications to use these devices and enables users to allow or block the applications.
3) Unwanted Applications — Reason can also scan for dangerous tracking and spyware that may be found on users' computers. Even legitimate applications may pose dangers to a user's security and privacy.
Its "Should I Remove It?" feature lists all installed applications and rates them according to the threat they may pose, as well as gives users the option to remove the applications entirely from the device.
4) Ransomware Protection — Reason also protects computers from ransomware. Ransomware is a popular type of malware that is used to encrypt and restrict access to files and systems unless a ransom is paid.
Encryption processes can also damage or corrupt personal files and data. Reason disables encryption attempts and prevents them from executing.
5) Browsing and Download Protection — In addition, Reason provides a free chrome plugin that keeps users away from phishing websites. Hackers nowadays use various methods to direct users to click a malicious link.
Reason identifies which links are safe to click and which links lead to fraudulent websites that steal personal data and information. Cybercriminals have also found a way to embed malware to files that can be downloaded from legitimate websites.
These files can pose serious privacy threats when successfully executed. Reason has included a free plugin that can automatically scan downloaded files and check if they are safe to run.
"Hackers have gotten quite creative in the ways they try to steal users' information and invade their privacy. They cleverly disguise their tools and tracks that require a capable set of tools to combat their methods. A plain old antivirus isn't enough these days. Using a feature-rich security solution allows users to protect themselves from the popular threats," Newman added.
Aside from using modern solutions, users must also always remain vigilant when using technology. Trust has become a fragile thing these days so much so that users must check the legitimacy of everything they come in contact with when using technology.
Users should be careful in executing attachments, files, and media, even from supposedly trusted sources, since they may contain embedded malware and viruses.
Fortunately, solutions like Reason that offer real-time protection and download protection help minimize the impact of these threats.
Users should also be wary of phishing emails—fraudulent emails that are designed to steal critical information. As these seemingly legitimate emails usually contain malicious attachments or links, users must validate the email's authenticity before clicking anything.
Furthermore, users are advised to check what permissions apps are asking for before granting them. If an app is asking to access data that seems unnecessary to the app's purpose, it's best to deny the request and uninstall the app.
In addition, users should avoid subscribing to services that ask for too much information, particularly personal and financial data that aren't really relevant to their function.
This way, this information won't be freely accessible should these apps and services fall victim to attacks.
Adopting a Privacy Mindset
Cybersecurity demands that everyone do their part in keeping everyone's data secure. Individuals could do their part by ensuring that they protect their data and devices by adopting capable security solutions and being vigilant in everything they do.
"It isn't exactly paranoia to be concerned about cyberattacks these days. The threats are real. While it appears that everyone must come to terms with the idea that one's personal information is simply out there for the taking, this still shouldn't excuse users to be lax with the information that they still control. Leveraging modern security solutions and adopting a privacy-focused mindset can still help them reduce security risks," Newman concluded.
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