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Basic CybersecurityNo-one can afford to ignore basic cyber­se­curity. With ransomware on the rise, it is more important than ever.

This will be the first in a series of art­icles about ways to keep the people and data you care about safe online. Among the things I plan to cover are:

  1. Why Bother With Cybersecurity? (this article)
  2. Password Security Made Simple
  3. Anti-Malware Solutions — 5 Vital Elements
  4. Trust — Increasing Sales With SSL Security
  5. Can A VPN Improve Small Business Cybersecurity? 

…and more. I may write a bit about Website Security too, though BestVPN’s Blogger’s Guide To WordPress Security has already covered that well.

So, with that said, let’s deal with the first question that far too many people ask…

Why Bother With Cybersecurity?

Well, the obvious answer is, “Cybersecurity pro­tects the people and things we care about”. All too often though, that prompts the reply, “Well, I haven’t got any­thing worth stealing.”

Seriously? You think criminal hackers know – or care about – that?

Hackers seek the weak points in systems. “White hat” hackers do so to predict and defend against the attacks that criminal (“black hat”) hackers will launch.

Black hats will exploit the weak­nesses in any system they can. Even if you don’t think you store any­thing “worth stealing,” they see your com­puters as resources to hijack. They often link such com­promised systems into remotely con­trolled “botnets”. These can then speed up tasks like password cracking, or swamp higher-value target com­puters with data requests. Such “Distributed Denial of Service” (DDoS) attacks may mask other attacks, and can even bring banks and internet giants to a halt.

(EDIT: …and as I was writing this, major hosting company DreamHost was exper­i­encing a major DDoS attack. Can you be sure your com­puter wasn’t involved?)

Black hats also trade access to these botnets. So, they have a fin­ancial incentive to hack you, even if you can’t see it. They’d love you to ignore cyber­se­curity. If you do though, you could find your “sluggish” com­puter is actually busy hacking your own bank.

Because You’re Worth It…

Besides, your com­puter probably does store things that are worth stealing. Few people would like their per­sonal and business doc­u­ments, photos, email, bank details and internet history to fall into the hands of crim­inals. That’s how ransomware and identity theft work, after all. Keeping per­sonal inform­ation private is the most basic security need of all.

Don’t kid yourself. You’re a target. In fact, like lions and other top pred­ators, hackers gen­erally hunt the weaker members of the herd. So, being an easy target makes you more of a target.

It’s Not All About You (Sorry)

As we all become more and more con­nected, your approach to cyber­se­curity affects those around you, too. It’s no coin­cidence that we use names like “virus,” “Trojan (horse)” and “worm” to describe various types of malware delivery systems. Ignoring cyber­se­curity is like being an anti-vaxxer – regardless of your belief, it puts others at risk. Especially others who are close to you.

Don’t be the weak point that lets them into your home or company network. Make a habit out of good cybersecurity.


The best security is invisible when it works. Sadly, that makes it easy to overlook and under­value – until it’s too late.

Can you ever be 100% secure and safe? No. Someone with enough will, skill, time and resources can break through any security. Anyone who promises 100% security is selling a lie for their own gain. What these tactics will do is make you a harder target than those who don’t follow them. You don’t always have to outrun the lion – only the guy next to you.