Why the threat from Russian cybersecurity has increased
The U.S. and Russia are not the best of friends right now, and it’s no secret that tensions have been rising between the two countries in recent years because of political issues including sanctions issued by the Obama administration over Russia’s invasion of Crimea. These sanctions, which were aimed at punishing Russia for violating international law, banned Russian cybercriminals from using dollar-based financial transactions as part of their business dealings and effectively cut them off from most global money networks.
In response to these sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened a “tit for tat” retaliation in cyberspace. While the Russian government has remained silent on what exactly this retaliation will entail and how it will be carried out, cybersecurity experts agree that it is only a matter of time before we see some sort of attack from hackers working on behalf or with support from Moscow.
What steps do I need to take to protect my website?
- Find reliable web hosting. In order to have a website up and running, you’ll need web hosting which sets your content up in a place where people can find it on the internet. There are many options out there, but GoDaddy, WPEngine and Bluehost are some of the most popular ones.
- Use frameworks with caution. A framework is an application that provides reusable functions for developers who want to develop websites without having to write anything from scratch. Many languages have frameworks associated with them; one notable example is Ruby on Rails for Ruby, Laravel for PHP and Django for Python.
- Install good firewall software. The firewall protects your website from attacks by keeping malicious connections at bay through various policies defined by your computer’s administrator or yourself (whoever controls the firewall). You should use the built-in firewall included in the operating system you use (e.g. Windows Firewall or FirewallD on Linux), or use a third-party firewall such as Comodo Firewall or ZoneAlarm Free Firewall if you want more features, like antivirus protection, identity protection and more features in general.
- Install good antivirus software. Antivirus software scans all files that enter your device (via USB storage devices, e-mail attachments or websites) and tests whether they contain malware so that they can take action to remove it before it causes harm. Although Windows Defender comes preinstalled with Windows 10 machines as standard antivirus software, this may not be enough since it has been reported working poorly against certain threat definitions compared to other antiviruses such as Avast! Free Antivirus, AVG Antivirus FREE, Bitdefender Free Edition, Panda Free Antivirus, etc.
- Backup your website. This is an especially good idea for businesses and anyone with a popular personal blog or site. Keep two backup copies and make sure that you store them on separate drives. This way, if one drive fails, you’ll always have another copy to fall back on.
- Use a strong password. Do not use anything based on simple facts from your life, such as your birthdate, the names of family members or pets, etc. These are easy for hackers to find out about you online and then use to infiltrate your website (or any other websites that you have). It’s best to create passwords that are random combinations of letters and symbols.
- Use a good encryption method. HTTPS encrypts data that travels between readers’ browsers and your server, which prevents information theft while it’s in transit (though it doesn’t protect users against infection once they’re already infected). SSL certificates are required by Google if you want to display ads on your site with their AdSense program (which can be an additional source of income for many bloggers).
What steps do I need to take to protect my browser?
With the recent upswing in Russian-based cybercriminals, keeping your browser safe should be a high priority. Here’s what you need to do:
- Use a password manager to create and store unique passwords for all your accounts.
- Enable two-factor authentication on all your accounts, if possible.
- Enable secure browsing whenever possible by visiting sites that use HTTPS rather than HTTP in their URL address bar (look for the padlock icon).
- Keep your browser updated with the most recent version of your software, and make sure it is configured correctly before you start using it day to day (this may require some extra support from IT experts).
- If you’re moving sensitive data around on a regular basis, consider using a VPN as an additional level of protection against threats like man-in-the-middle attacks or malware infection via unsecured public Wi-Fi networks or websites.
What steps do I need to take to protect my identification
Steps you can take to protect your identification:
- Use a password manager. If you don’t already use a password manager, now is the time to start. Password managers are applications that store all your passwords for you and help create strong ones for sites and services you use. This helps ensure that your accounts (and the data they contain) are safe.
- Don’t ever reuse passwords across multiple sites or services, especially if one of those accounts stores sensitive information like credit card numbers or personal details such as your phone number and address. It is best not to reuse passwords at all, but when it comes to protecting your identity, never reusing them is an absolute must.
- Don’t share passwords with anyone else, even family members or close friends—or vice versa! Your accounts are yours and should be kept private unless otherwise noted in terms of service agreements for specific apps or services.
What steps do I need to take to protect my computer
To fully protect yourself from Russian cybersecurity threats, take the following steps:
- Use a strong password for every website you use.
- Use a password manager, such as LastPass or 1Password, to store your passwords in an encrypted vault.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt all of your internet traffic and hide your IP address.
- Enable two-factor authentication when available; this will ensure that only you have access to your accounts.
- Encrypt your emails using PGP or another encryption service, so that only the intended recipient can read them.
- Encrypt your computer’s hard drive and USB flash drives, so that if they are stolen, no one can access the data stored on them.