Advancements in technology have made all of our lives easier. Almost every sector of society is dependent on it due to its efficiency, functionality, and it can be easily accessed. However, crimes have also shifted to the virtual platform. These are known as cyber-crimes or cyber-attacks. While a lot of software was programmed to shield their users from unwarranted attacks, cyber-criminals have adapted to these complex codes. There are different methods used by cyber-criminals, like a zero-day exploit, phishing, SQL injection, malware, and man-in-the-attack. In this article, we will be focusing on what is a zero-day exploit and what precautionary steps you should do to protect your privacy.
What is zero-day?
A zero-day is a type of cyber-attack. It refers to a recently discovered software vulnerability. Most of the time, these vulnerabilities are not intentional. These vulnerabilities or loopholes can be used by hackers to their advantage, especially when software developers don’t create a patch to solve it right away. This is a challenge for software developers because they need to act fast so their users won’t be put in danger.
What makes zero-day exploit dangerous?
There were instances that even the software developers were not aware of software vulnerabilities until the cyber-criminals attack. In some unfortunate cases, software developers won’t be aware of it even after the attack. An attacker will write a code to exploit while the vulnerability is out in the open. Once a zero-day exploit ensues, this will put all your files and data in danger. It could be stolen, erased, or get corrupted. A zero-day exploit can easily disrupt all your activities and can even have full access to your computer. These cyber-criminals can sell the data retrieved from your computer to the black market. They actually make tons of profit out of it. Your personal information can be used for identity theft or bank fraud. Detecting whether a zero-day exploit is happening or not can be hard. In summary, everyone can be at risk of getting attacked.
How can I protect myself and my business from a zero-day exploit?
Keep your software updated
Normally, software developers will create codes and update their software to preserve the software’s functionality while protecting their users. Most updates include security patches and improve the features of the software. Plus, this is a good practice to keep your devices from lagging.
Make sure that you always have a back-up of your important files
In some unfortunate cases that a zero-day exploit is successfully done, cyber-criminals would wipe out all the data and files you have on your computer. If you have a business, this will be a really big problem. Most businesses are using cloud infrastructure to collaborate and store their data. However, as of writing, cloud infrastructure can also be vulnerable to zero-day exploits.
Invest in an antivirus software
This is one of the pros of having antivirus software installed on your computer. With just a quick scan, you can easily see all malicious activities happening on your computer. A trusted antivirus software can block a zero-day exploit and other types of cyber-attacks.
Less is more
Another practical way to keep you protected from a zero-day exploit is having less software on your computer. Less software means less chance for a zero-day exploit to penetrate your privacy. Consider removing software, plug-ins, and files that you haven’t used in a while.
Avoid using outdated plug-ins, software, and operating systems
Similar to what was mentioned earlier, there are tons of software that most people use that are not updated. This makes it way easier for hackers to install malware and spyware to the user’s computer. Stay away from websites, links, and downloadable files that have a questionable reputation.
Well, this is the most obvious step to protect yourself. Make it a habit to always check updates from your software provider. When a patch is available or a zero-day exploit might happen, they would inform the public. Remain vigilant to protect your privacy.