While the Internet is a place of great openness and oftentimes of real transparency, there are plenty of cracks, crevices, and shadows where those with ill intentions can lurk. In fact, Internet-based criminal activity has been rising steadily for many years, with large organizations in various parts of the world now being devoted entirely to this kind of illicit business. Whether for individuals looking to stay safe online or business owners wanting to ensure their own networks remain unaffected, the advice provided by leading internet security experts is therefore often well worth heeding.
One important concept to come to terms with is that many digital criminals rely heavily on dissimulation. What that means in practice is that no web page, email attachment, or another digital resource should ever be trusted entirely, especially when its provenance and legitimacy cannot be directly established. Some of the most damaging and successful cyber attacks of all rely on little more than convincing a person to click on a particular link or enter some credentials in a form that is not what it claims to be. Always being skeptical about such matters might slow down the pace of digital life a little bit, but it will also make costly mistakes a lot less likely.
Another basic idea to keep in mind is that maintaining a low profile generally makes a person or business a smaller target. Some criminals today cast their nets as widely as possible, conducting massive scans of the entire Internet that are designed to point out particular vulnerabilities. Others focus on finding specific services or people that seem worth attacking, crafting their thrusts to best exploit the weaknesses they expect to discover.
In either case, limited exposure means that a criminal is less likely to take notice and that any attack conducted thereafter will face more resistance. For a small business that maintains its own in-house server, for example, cutting down on the number of Internet-facing programs it hosts can easily help with security. Individuals will do well to avoid filling out too many personally identifying details on too many sites online, in order to make it less likely that a criminal will use these facts for illegitimate purposes.