So what is the definition of cyber security? Cyber security keeps systems, networks, and devices safe from malicious tampering. It's a broad term that involves all digital protection — from network security to web security. Its examples could be the defense systems that keep your social media logins protected and your digital medical records private.
Most systems that manage services we use day-to-day have moved online. From financial organizations and medical care to electrical grids that power whole cities — these systems rely on digital technology. Cyber protection is what keeps them functioning as they should — it's the defensive wall that keeps cyber attacks at bay.
Without adequate IT security, your banking information, private messages, or online activities would be out in the open for anyone to see (this is where a VPN can help). Cyber attacks could cripple hospitals, banks, transportation, communication, and various utility organizations.
What is a cyber attack? It’s an intentional attack against a computer, network, or other digital infrastructure. Cyber attacks can have various motives, ranging from political to financial.
Malware is any malicious software that takes advantage of the user. It can range from programs that flood your device with ads to keyloggers that record every stroke of your keyboard.
During a cyber attack, ransomware infects a device encrypting all its data. If the attack victim wants to access the data on their device again, they have to pay a ransom.
Social engineering is a set of techniques that manipulate the victim into doing something that the hacker wants. It's an umbrella term that includes phishing, vishing, catfishing, pretexting, and more.
In DDoS attacks, a network of infected computers overwhelms their target with enormous amounts of traffic. It can slow websites to the point where it's impossible to use or take them down for some time.
In MITM attacks, the criminals intercept user's device communications to observe, manipulate, and steal the victim's data traffic.
Hackers work malicious code lines into database management systems to trick websites into revealing all sensitive information they contain.
Criminals insert a malicious script into a regular website. The software can then record your sensitive information like what you type into login fields when accessing your online bank account.
In a dictionary attack, a hacker uses a predefined list of words and phrases to guess your password. Most attacks utilize password-cracking software that can take millions of guesses from a list of most common passwords.
Hackers use login information obtained through social engineering or from leaked databases to crack every account you have. For example, if a criminal gets their hands on your email password, they'll try to access your other accounts using the same credentials.
Use a VPN
VPNs encrypt your data traffic and change your IP address, ensuring your privacy and security online.
Avoid Wi-Fi hotspots
Criminals on public Wi-Fi can easily snoop on your data. If you ever connect to a hotspot in a cafe or airport, be sure to use a VPN.
Use strong passwords
Your pet's name or mom's birthday doesn't cut it anymore — use long passwords that contain numbers, letters, and special characters.
Don't click on unknown links
Avoid opening attachments from unknown sources, and even if you know the sender, double-check if it's really them.
Keep everything up to date
Software updates often have patches for security vulnerabilities that criminals could exploit otherwise.
Back up your data
Make sure all your files aren’t lost — back it up. If you come under a cyber attack that threatens to delete your data, a backup will come in handy.
It scans and helps remove malicious software from your devices.
The NordPass password manager enables you to store and organize your logins securely. Create robust passwords and never worry about forgetting them again.
NordLocker's file encryption tool lets you backup your data on a private cloud so that no one can access your files without your permission.
NordVPN Teams, an advanced business VPN, lets employees securely access their company data when working remotely on any of their devices.