The 4 Cybersecurity Mistakes You're Most Likely To Make

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Tell your Grandma, tell your Dad, hey - tell your bus driver.

Stop. Doing. These. Things. They. Are. Not. Safe. (And probably the reason your computer is full of adware).

The National Privacy Test is a survey of 5,000 internet users carried out by NordVPN, and the most recent one revealed the most common mistakes people are making.

1. 94% of Internet Users Think They Recognise Phishing Emails – But Half of Them Keep Clicking.

94 per cent of respondents said they would ignore an email request from a bank asking for personal information. Yet statistics show that up to 45 per cent of Internet users keep clicking on dangerous links or providing personal information where they shouldn't.

This suggests that although users may recognise basic malicious emails, more sophisticated phishing attempts often still work. What you should be doing is checking the sender's address, looking for spelling and grammar mistakes and not clicking on links – instead, hovering the mouse over to see if it's legitimate (one of the indicators of legitimacy would be https URL).

2. Social Media Users Still Share Holiday Photos

According to the survey, while social media users know they shouldn't share their home address, current location or phone number on Facebook, half of them still share holiday photos or social plans. However, each time a social media user announces that they are on holiday, it's a signal that their home is empty.

So what should you do? Posting holiday pictures after getting home, never sharing personal data on Facebook, and protecting your location by using a VPN are all options.

3. Many Online Shoppers Believe Public Wi-Fi Is Safe

It was found in the survey that as many as one-third of respondents believe that various activities – such as checking email, logging into a social media account, shopping online or checking a bank account – are safe on public WiFi.

While checking a bank account on a public hotspot is assumed to be very risky (less than 2 per cent agree that is safe), entering banking credentials to make a purchase online is seen as a lesser risk (23 per cent think it is safe). Stay away from public terminals when shopping online.

4. Information Overload Is Confusing to Internet Users.

Only slightly over 50 per cent of the survey respondents realised that an email confirming a genuine online purchase does not pose a security threat. The outcome shows that the topics of online privacy and security can be very confusing for an average Internet user.

If they are surrounded with information on various threats for long enough, every little thing starts looking like another phishing attempt. That’s why it's so important to educate users about crucial online habits and tools so that they can tell credible threats from myths.



    How much of an improvement is using a VPN over public wifi? Does it seriously help or just make one feel better while providing no real security improvements?

      If whatever you are using the wifi for is not using some form of encryption then they could technically see what you are doing. If say you are connecting to then it's encrypted and all they can see is you accessing that site not what you are doing on it. If you log into that doesn't have SSL (https<-) then they can see everything you transmit to that site.
      Using a VPN just means they cant see what you are doing other than transferring encrypted data, as in they wont even know you are using

        That's true, unless the networking infrastructure provided from 'free wifi' does some SSL/MiTM decryption...

        Granted, some services detect this and refuse to work, whereas others not.

        Either way, avoid free wifi - cellular data is more trustworthy.

    I think the best advice in relation to the first issue is to not use any links from an email to go to a site. So if you get an email from your bank don't click it's links, instead use your browser to go to your bank's site and login to check whatever the email was talking about manually.

    It kinda ties into the 4th point, that everyone distrusted emails now. Sometimes it's just easier to be paranoid and not trust any email. Sure might make stuff more difficult but it's also safer.

      This! Even when I get a legit email from somewhere like paypal, or somewhere confirming something, I still, out of habit, go directly to the website to check whatever it is rather than clicking links in emails. Might take a few seconds longer, but at least I know exactly what I'm doing and where I'm going!

        Email headers, unknown domains and hovering over links reveal the wolf in sheeps clothing.

          Exactly, but it's just a force of habit for me now. Not a huge inconvenience. Probably takes just as long to mouse over and wait for the pop up to show up to check the details as it does to open my browser and click the page on the new tab page ;)

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