These are the five most common security errors made by people on the internet in Spain and this is how to prevent them

These are the five most common security errors made by people on the internet in Spain and this is how to prevent them

Cybersecurity giant Kaspersky carried out a survey to identify the mistakes made most often



Sunday, 3 September 2023, 07:12

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Our relationship with the internet changed dramatically with the introduction of smartphones, especially when they became affordable. Surfing the web, shopping online or checking emails became everyday tasks that we can now carry out no matter where we are, which has also opened the door to cybercriminals: they have more potential victims than ever on which to target their scams.

In Spain, Cybersecurity giant, Kaspersky, surveyed 2,000 people to identify the five most common cybersecurity mistakes people are making. It published the results in the report; 'Influencia de la tecnología en la vida de los españoles' (Influence of technology in the lives of Spaniards).

1. (49.4% of respondents)

Accepting terms and conditions when making a purchase or downloading an application without reading them beforehand.

We are accustomed to the long-windedness of signing up for an online service, but the reality is that no one stops to read them carefully. This is despite the fact that accepting these conditions can have consequences. Kaspersky pointed out: "The user may be unknowingly accepting access to and use of personal information by the company or developer of the application. In doing so, the data may be used for advertising or other privacy-sensitive purposes. This practise also exposes the device to cybersecurity vulnerabilities by installing malware or viruses, which compromise data security and perform unauthorised actions."

2. (27% of respondents)

Having geolocation turned on all the time

Many users are unaware of the permissions they give to the applications they have installed on their mobile phones, such as geolocation, which allows anyone to track us. This can involve social networks, browsing services, home delivery services and others, Kaspersky pointed out. If such information falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to commit criminal acts. It can also reveal personal information about movement patterns, habits or places frequented. This allows cybercriminals to carry out more sophisticated phishing attacks - sending fake messages or emails, impersonating local companies or services to gain credibility.

3. (20% of respondents)

Always using the same passwords

Another internet commonplace issue is the use of the same password for all websites, email addresses or social media networks. The mistake here is obvious for the cybersecurity firm: "Once criminals have got hold of that unique password, they will have access to all the accounts it protects. This is why it is important to have a different password for each profile. Password managers are also very useful for storing passwords securely". Experts also recommend changing our passwords every three months, so that we are protected against constant data leaks.

4. (19% of respondents)

Not backing up files

Our computer's hard drive often houses important documents or multimedia content of sentimental value, which is why it is advisable to make backup copies in case the device crashes or is infected by malware. Kaspersky pointed out ransomware; "a type of virus that locks files and demands a ransom for their release. If there are no backup copies, it will be very difficult to recover the data."

5. (15% of respondents)

Allowing browsers to store bank details so that they are not re-entered for future purchases

Remembering credit card details when shopping online is an ordeal for many, who choose to store them in their browser so they don't have to search for their wallet. For Kaspersky experts, this is a mistake: "If a device is infected by malware or malicious software, cybercriminals have access to the information stored in the browser. This can happen through malicious downloads, infected websites or phishing emails. Thanks to this ruse, attackers can fatten their current accounts with unauthorised transfers."

Tips to avoid falling into the trap

In addition to the above, the Kaspersky report offers the following recommendations to avoid a scare:

- Use a trusted cybersecurity solution: Anti-virus software is often used on computers but not so much on mobile devices, which is also recommended.

- Check the websites you access: If we receive a link, it is important to check that it does not contain spelling or grammatical errors. At the slightest suspicion, it is best not to open it (or copy and paste it into your browser instead of clicking on it directly).

- Keep devices up to date: Updating your phone's operating system and its applications (including the browser) is essential to protect against attacks, as these installations include the latest security patches designed by the manufacturer or developer.

- Do not download unknown attachments: Many emails include files in '.exe' or '.pdf' format that link to fraudulent websites, capable of installing malware or stealing information.

- Do not share personal information: Related to the above and as a general rule, never give out your personal or bank details unless absolutely necessary, through a secure and authenticated connection.

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