The world of online data collection is a difficult one to navigate if you are new to the game. There are certain rules that must be followed and there is a certain way that queried meaning meetings should be conducted. Things like passwords, notifications, and limiting the number of simultaneous users can all help you feel more comfortable with your data. The reality of the situation is that these rules came about for good reason and will help keep your data safe and secure. This article will be discussing five dangerous areas of queried.
#1: Opening ports on firewalls
This is a topic that seems to be made up for comedy on the internet. Whether or not this is a bad idea is an entirely different discussion. In short, opening ports on firewalls is a bad idea and should be avoided. People tend to misuse the information they collect to perform security scans and attacks. This can lead to someone monitoring your data through a port that isn’t supposed to be open. Some people would even go as far as to say that it’s necessary and there is no reason to lock everything down. That being said, there are some people (usually system administrators) who feel otherwise and like they need to put the kibosh on this too-common mistake. The problem here is that any potential threats can easily come into your network and circumvent anything you may put in place to keep them out.
#2: Running unnecessary scans
The scams of the 21st century are thriving and this is a problem. While some of them are so silly as to not be worth your time, others have managed to get a hold of a good portion of the population. Whether it’s business emails or text messages to your cell phone, they’re out there and they’re getting people. There are times when a program will send you an email and ask you to run a virus scan in order to get some free money. The moment you click the link, your system is flooded with requests which can result in many problems depending on how you configure both your firewall and anti-malware software.
#3: Not using two-factor authentication
The idea behind two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great one. If someone were to hack into your account, they would need physical access as well as access to your password as well. 2FA is the solution to this problem. There are certain sites that do this by sending a text message or an email with a code you need to type in. Others will use an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator or Authy. With both of these, only when your login information is correct will they send over the second factor which proves you are authorized to log in.
#4: Putting hacking tools on a shared computer/drive
This is just asinine and something that many don’t know about until they get hacked themselves. If you’re in a business situation where your computers must be shared, you should run scans and updates to ensure that there isn’t malware that may be on those other systems. The problem here is that many people will share a drive or a folder without properly securing it. Hacking tools are designed to find weaknesses in systems and that is their job. If you put them on a shared computer that many people have access to, it’s not long before someone will try to use it. If this happens, your system is vulnerable and that could put the entire network at risk.
#5: Using outdated software
This is one of the easiest things to overlook but with the growth in malware and viruses out there, it’s important that you update your software regularly. It’s also important to try and use the newest versions of everything in order to keep your data safe. This is especially true of operating systems, applications, and even security tools. Some software can be a year old, while others can be mere months away from being patched. Some of the older firewall software and anti-virus software has become completely obsolete. This can be done through either a web browser or program itself or by visiting the website of your manufacturer. If you’re having problems updating automatically or there is no option for it, then something has gone wrong. The good news is that you can easily search for updates online and just download them yourself.
The problem with some of these rules is that they aren’t for everyone. If you happen to be in the business of collecting data and running queries, then there are some things you can’t do without the proper equipment. This doesn’t mean that these rules aren’t good and should be followed though. It’s important to know the rules of an online environment and to appreciate the need for security that is inherent in most online environments.