Good advice can lead to bad cybersecurity choices
Generation Y and Millennials have a skewed view of cybersecurity. They are told constantly “be careful what you post; once it’s on the web it’s there forever.” Good advice. Unfortunately this has given the impression to 16-34 year olds that they can retrieve their data from sources other than their PC, phone or tablet, namely the web! Ransomware in particular is not seen as a threat.
Ransomware is malicious software designed to take over a PC or other Internet connected device. It locks out the user, encrypts the user’s data, and in some cases destroys connected backups. To get the data back users must pay a ransom. One tactic to combat ransomware is to backup data to an external, disconnected drive and/or to cloud storage that is encrypted
According to Kaspersky almost half of this population consider emailing an acceptable form of data backup thinking friends, family or coworkers will have a copy of the desired attachment. Email is not an acceptable form of data backup:
- Data is not pristine, it may be altered or corrupted.
- Data could be compromised
- Attachments are now malware
- This assumes someone other than the user will backup or protect the data
- Data is dispersed without any kind of systematic retrieval
Millennials believe since the data is posted, it must be somewhere on the web, and able to be retrieved. Only half have some form of security on their phone, generally the primary device used to access the Internet. Only 13 percent see Ransomware as a concern. One in six believe they can “talk their way out” of a Ransomware attack; or merely shut off the machine to stop the attack.
The key, as always, is education and cyber hygiene. Every generation using the Internet needs to understand the threats lurking on the net in order to effectively combat them.
- Use the latest version of software
- Install an Internet security package
- Back up data routinely
- Check all email for authenticity
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