Do you work with a laptop? Learn how your information can be stolen and how to protect yourself.

 

Working in an office is no longer the only option: more and more executives use their laptops to work remotely every day. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all corporate devices are protected against cyber-attacks, because as technology improves, so do hackers. Virtual attacks are increasingly sophisticated – as of 2018, many threats that can jeopardize the security of your data are still active. Are you aware of these threats? If you work with a laptop at home, in a hotel or at the coffee shop around the corner, this article will highlight the ways your information may be compromised and how to avoid it.

 

  • Visual hacking

Have you heard of visual hacking? It is the practice of obtaining private information by looking at the screen of another person’s device. According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, 91% of visual hacking attempts are successful.This is an alarming fact, especially since most companies around the world are not prepared to identify and prevent this type of hacking, be it in the office or outside of it.

The problem is that visual hacking usually goes unnoticed. According to the Ponemon Institute, employees did not identify 70% of the visual hacking incidents. The biggest problem is that this type of information theft occurs quickly. In less than 15 minutes, a person can acquire both corporate and personal data.

The key to thwarting this type of attack is prevention. Not only is it vital to protect computers with a password and ensuring documents are closed, but also to be alert to who may be looking over your shoulder at your screen.

 

  • Wi-Fi connection

One of the main tips touted by security experts has to do with Wi-Fi networks. When working with laptops, the use of wireless internet is inevitable – this initial step is where users should pay the most attention. Free connections in places like hotels, airports and coffee shops can be of great help. However, they can pose a substantial risk to your data.

According to Panda, a prominent security company, a hacker can easily spy on any user who connects to an open Wi-Fi network. According to the hacker Wouter Slotboom, as quoted by Panda, just a little patience, intermediate knowledge and a basic device is enough. In just 20 minutes, a hacker can obtain your personal data and even your Google search history if your laptop signal is intercepted. The victim believes that he is connected to the local network when in reality he has joined a fictitious network. Therefore, experts recommend avoiding unknown wireless networks.

 

  • Phishing

Another way to steal information is through phishing or identity theft. Despite not being a new practice, the 2018 annual threats report by CSO Spain estimates that a company may receive over 900 phising attacks in a single year.

Impersonation is a technique widely used by cyber criminals to steal or obtain confidential information fraudulently. They usually do it through email: they pretend to be a trustworthy person or company and send a malicious link within the email.

According to CSO Spain, recipients open over 30% of emails containing phishing. It is a very efficient practice. Consequently, it is vital that employees have access to software that helps them filter emails and eliminate potential threats.

 

The most successful data theft techniques are those that directly involve users, the weakest link in terms of security. Therefore, in addition to the prevention techniques already implemented – such as encryption, antivirus, malware detectors and software updates – it is essential to train employees to avoid these type of attacks.

 

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