Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Cyber Security month 2020 - Our questions, your answers! · 2020-11-23 11:37 by Anna Fediaieva

Last month we asked our followers on social media eight questions on IT security and privacy.

Question #1 – Do you do backups?

50% of the participants of our poll answered that question with a yes, but the other half stated not doing backups at all or just rarely.
That’s a pity, as backups are the best way to protect your personal files in case of a broken hard drive, a stolen device or a ransomware attack. It would be a sad story if you lose all your personal memories like pictures from your children, your college dissertation or even the files and documents you need to have to run your business.
Doing backups might be annoying sometimes, but most operating systems like Windows or Android have on-board tools that allow you to make backups automatically without needing your attention!

Question #2 – Do you install updates immediately after you get a notification?

57.6% answered this question with a yes, but 37.3% answered that they click on “remind me later”.
Most updates have an important purpose. Some of them fix technical bugs, others improve the performance of your device like using less battery consumption, but the most important part is the security updates. A browser or an operating system like Android or Windows with missing security updates might expose your device to cyber criminals. The vulnerabilities may grant criminals access to your computer. They might steal your credentials to your online bank account or get access to files on your computer that you don’t want others to see.

Question #3 – Do you believe keeping personal information completely private on the internet is possible?

23.7% answered this question with a yes, the same percentage came up with maybe and 52.6% remarked that they don’t believe keeping personal information completely private on the internet is possible. We don’t have a good answer on this either. But we can encourage you to use privacy tools like Adblock Plus while surfing the internet and to take privacy seriously by applying best practice.

Question #4: Do you cover your webcam?

38.4% reported that they cover their webcam, while 34.4% don’t and 27.2% answered that they don’t have a webcam.
We also don’t have a clear recommendation here, but keep in mind that there are plenty of espionage tools that can hack your webcam on your PC or your smartphone. You probably don’t want strangers watching you without your knowing about it. People like the Facebook-Founder Mark Zuckerberg or the former FBI director James Comey cover their webcams. Could be that they might know more…

Question #5: Have you ever got scammed when purchasing from an online store?

Luckily, the majority of our poll participants (62%) had not experienced a scam, but unfortunately 13.6% had a bad shopping experience and the rest didn’t know and hoped not to be scammed.
With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas coming up soon, online purchasing will peak again and cyber criminals will be keenly looking forward to these days.
When shopping online, make sure that you purchase from trusted sources. Be careful when websites don’t have a proper imprint, too many good and extremely positive reviews, and are asking for cash before delivery. If you are not sure about the trustworthiness of a vendor, enter the name into a search engine like ecosia.org and you’ll know pretty quickly about the trust level.

Question #6: Have you ever got a virus through a malicious ad (Malvertising)?

About 30% of the users told us that they actually don’t know what an ad is. They are probably using Adblock Plus. Another 38.8% answered this question with a no. They are probably also using Adblock Plus. And 31% have unfortunately gotten a virus through malicious advertising on the internet. That is a good reason to start using an ad blocker like Adblock Plus or our Adblock Browser for Android and iOS.

Question #7: Do you click on “Accept all cookies”

Over 75% take their privacy seriously and don’t accept all cookies. It’s just a bit less than 25% accepting them all – at least on our survey. We all agree that those consent managers and cookie banners are not the best solution for a user and are even annoying, but keep in mind – they’re there to respect your privacy. And who knows if there won’t be a solution in place soon that might get rid of the cookie banners.

Question #8: Does your password include a term/phrase that can be found in a dictionary?

Just a bit more than 10% answered this with a yes. Using a term/phrase from a dictionary makes it easier to remember a password, but it also makes it easier for criminals to hack your account.
A strong password should be at least 16 characters long, include a number, capital and lowercase letters and a special character like an &* sign. Use longer passphrases instead of just a single word and never use the same password for multiple accounts.
An example for a safe password could be AdBløCkPlu$v3.9.5

by Peter Meyer

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