Security FAQ

I received some questions about cybersecurity and made up a mini-faq to answer them.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is someone posing as a legitimate company/person to gain sensitive information from a user for malicious purposes. (Think of when you fish with fake bait, the fish thinks it’s real so it bites.)

When I join a website what do they do with my personal information?

Every company is different, when on their website, look for their ‘Privacy policy’ and it will indicate exactly what they are doing with your information.

What is adware?

Adware is basically a way for the company to make money. It started out as people putting ads on webpages and software so they could earn revenue for their companies. Now Adware is used almost interchangeably with malware because it can have malicious intent and consequences. There are software adware/malware scanners that can get rid of any persistent ads.

Why can’t I use the same password for everything?

Considering the amount of passwords we need to remember on a daily basis, it’s not surprising a lot of people use the same password across the board, it’s definitely easier. The only problem is it’s like using one key for your house, car, office and garage. If it gets taken, everything can be compromised. Try to vary passwords as much as you can, that way if your password to a site gets hacked, hackers can’t go around and try it elsewhere to get into other sites you use, ie banking website.

What does 128 byte encryption mean?

128 bit encryption is a way of shrouding important data that gets sent across the internet, such as your banking password. The number 128 is the length of the ‘key’ that encrypts the data, basically It would take 2^128 different combinations to break this key. This gives a fairly high amount of security, because it would take a VERY long time for someone to hack that.

What is the likelihood of having account information comprised?

This depends on a few factors. If someone leaves their passwords for accounts lying around or isn’t careful with them, that raises the chances of someone trying to hack into their accounts. If talking from a worldwide view, the odds are miniscule. Usually you have to be targeted specifically, either you get robbed, or a company you deal with has their customer database hacked.
When talking about bank accounts the odds are very small you will get hacked, unless you have given someone your password by mistake.

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Comments

Kersus's picture

Or you have a Human Resources department. So much private data there and people with access to it. What if they're fired?

Good FAQ.