What exactly does the term ‘Online Security’ mean? Online security is usually a branch of network security, in particular pertaining to the Internet and computer networking, as it pertains to the World Wide Web and browser security in general. The Internet has opened up an entirely new world where communication, commerce and many other aspects of our everyday lives are actually carried out between people and machines; online security therefore encompasses all of it. In fact, the entire Internet was created for the express purpose of encouraging this online transaction and information movement. Today, online security has become a huge problem and many companies have begun to take online security very seriously indeed.
One of the main problems that face today’s Internet users is identity theft. Identity theft happens when someone who does not appear to be at least a legal adult steals someone’s private and personal information such as credit card details, social security numbers, and even in some cases their home address and phone number. It is one of the most commonly occurring crimes on the Net with almost half a million reported cases in 2021 alone. Digital footprints left by people on the Internet are everywhere, and it is very easy for anyone to leave their digital footprint which can be tracked back to them. This means that anyone who goes online will leave a digital footprint which can be used to track them down and steal their personal data.
Online security is largely about preventing the illegal access to confidential data from hackers and others who wish to use it for their own purposes. The problem arises when users make the mistake of giving out too much information online such as their passwords and usernames. This leaves them vulnerable to identity theft and many businesses have resorted to making their website’s login pages highly difficult to gain access to. This has in effect stopped a large number of new potential customers entering the websites because hackers cannot anymore break through the security. In some cases they have had to resort to changing all of the passwords on their social media platforms because it was too difficult to gain access to the social media platforms.
In order to combat this growing issue which is seen by many as a growing threat to the online security industry, websites are starting to take stronger stances against hackers who use various tactics to try and gain access to websites. For example they are requiring users to use complex passwords that incorporate uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. They are also requiring users to check their profiles often and change them regularly. Furthermore they are making it harder for people to access their social media platforms by blocking them from connecting to them. All of these steps are aimed at minimizing the risks posed by hackers who are trying to use such tactics to gain illegal access to important websites and information.
Another major issue that is seeing a rise in the security issues facing websites is spoofing and hacking. This refers to the process of hacking into websites and sending fake messages to try and trick the target into revealing sensitive information. Social media sites like Facebook have come under fire for causing this type of issue because of the way in which users reveal so much information about themselves, which in turn enables hackers to send spam and phishing emails to their targets. This is especially problematic because many of the social media users are unaware that their information has been compromised and hacked. This is leading to a situation where there is no clear line of communication between the online security company and the website owners and this leaves both parties feeling vulnerable.
When it comes to spoofing and hacking, another big concern is the threat posed by phishing attempts. Phishing attempts involve sending out spam and messages that are identical to legitimate looking websites that mimic real banks or financial organisations. For example, if a user were to visit a website that looks like a bank’s online security page, they would not be able to tell the difference between the page and that of an impostor. As well as this, phishing pages often contain malware and other harmful programs that can infect computers when opened. Therefore, when online security companies are dealing with phishing attempts they are left with no choice but to respond with strong encryption algorithms and strong passwords that cannot be easily hacked.
As well as phishing attempts, another major cause for concern is the Bluetooth vulnerability that allows hackers to attack the Bluetooth devices of users. The Bluetooth technology was originally designed as a method of sharing information between two Bluetooth enabled devices. However, Bluetooth has the potential to be used for further malware and spyware attacks. Hackers can install spyware on the computer by harvesting the username and password used to connect to the Bluetooth device. By using Bluetooth dongle malware or a fake device, the hackers gain access to the user’s data and can use this data to gain access to the user’s bank accounts, online banking services and other important services online.