Be safer online: a handful of tips for non-technical users

Fortinet, a world leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, recommends increased vigilance in connection with increasingly advanced cyber attacks targeting not only companies and organizations, but also private users - cybercriminals are increasingly targeting home networks and mobile devices. The results of Fortinet's recent global cybercrime threat show that in the second quarter of 2017, 90% of organizations reported attacks using older than three-year vulnerabilities. What's even more alarming: 60% of organizations reported an attack using a vulnerability less than 10 years old.

There is an increase in the number of attacks on home networks (routers, Wi-Fi access points) and mobile devices. The latter concerns 5% of attacks carried out, mainly smartphones and tablets equipped with the Android system. Cyber ​​criminals also attack IoT devices, exploiting many vulnerabilities in their security. Thanks to this, attackers can remotely control them, collect data or install malicious code in them.

We live in a digital world, and cybercrime is part of this new reality - says Jolanta Malak, regional sales director at Fortinet. - We are used to closing our cars, apartments, to look around before we cross the street, avoid the suspicious surroundings after dark. It's time to move similar good habits to move in a digital environment.

By taking the below steps, you can reduce the threat of cyber attacks:

1. Control your profiles on social media

Be careful in adding new friends. Cybercriminals often create fake accounts and send invitations from them. Please note the following details to identify an invitation from a criminals hoping to steal your data and trying to stretch you by clicking on the link to the infected page:

Always pay attention to the profile of the person sending the invitation. When was it founded? Which year was marked as the year of graduation or a new job? Are there any photos from everyday activities added there? If you do not know the person sending the invitation or anything on her page, it seems suspicious - just reject or ignore the request. If you are invited by someone you know, check if you have not added it to your friends before. If you still have doubts, try to contact him in person and ask if he has created a new personal profile or website. If not, his account has probably been taken over or duplicated.

2. Carefully check your online transactions

Your bank will never ask you for login details for your account. Similar requests, mainly sent by criminals in emails, should be ignored and messages deleted. If you receive an email with an attached link, always check the URL carefully before clicking it. Hover over the link and check what address will appear. It should start with the correct domain name, e.g. Also pay attention to whether the communication on the page is encrypted - the secured sites have a padlock symbol in front of the address in the browser field. To avoid any doubts, log in to the bank's website via its homepage or contact its representative to ensure that such a message was definitely sent by the bank.

3. Read e-mails carefully

Malicious e-mail attachments are the most common way to infect someone's device. Attacks of this type, known as phishing, most often rely on the fact that a malicious file is added to the e-mail, for example as a bill, confirmation of a fictitious order, fictitious consignment note, etc. - a false document requiring immediate response. Never open such attachments or links contained in similar emails received from someone you do not know about an order that you did not submit or that does not look credible.

4. Update device software

Make an overview of the devices that are connected to your network. These should be smartphones, tablets, smart TV and all other IoT devices. Do not forget about the Wi-Fi router and access points. Write down the names of manufacturers and models of these devices. List what software is installed on them. You will then receive a complete statement of what is on your network. Look for vulnerabilities known to them, if so - find patches for them. Make sure that the software is updated to the latest version. If the device or application manufacturer does not update them anymore, it is safest to replace them with newer versions.

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