We work with internet everyday. It has become an essential part in our life. We cannot imagine a day without it. It is such a vital tool for so many purposes. There are lots of things on the net, that are now accessible to even a common person. So much information, that it is impossible for one person to know everything. This simply means that we require instructions about how to use a facility available to us on the internet.
These instructions that are there for people to follow, are the weak spot of internet. They can be misused by a malicious person to cause harm to others. It is an unavoidable weakness, and gives rise to hacking and cracking. This is the basic necessity of cyber security. The instructions are essential, because without them, the internet will become unusable. For example, suppose google search engine had a search box hidden somewhere in it’s web page without any mention of how to use that search box, we will have to experiment on our own and struggle to figure out, how do we use that search feature. It would imply that no common person can use the service.
But the possibility that someone can alter these instructions to mislead the reader, gives rise to a very large security loophole. The biggest example of this type of an attack is Phishing. Simply put, phishing is nothing but instructing the user to pass on their vital information to someone, and then misuse it. It may look very strange as to why would a person give away their information, just like that, but it happens all the time. As an illustration, imagine someone sending out emails, that appear to come from a bank, saying that they have upgraded their servers and the users need to login once and check if everything is correct or not. The person also adds a link (usually for the convenience) that appears correct, but actually is a compromised website, and most of the times under the control of the attacker. The user will happily login on the fake website to check if everything is correct and hence giving away their information.
One can safeguard themselves against these types of attacks, by being more cautious, had the user taken the pain of opening the bank’s website by typing in the URL that he knows, the attack would have failed. Similarly another most common mistake that is done is by people using passwords that are very common. These issues are not on the internet’s end. These are somethings that we need to take care by ourselves to ensure our safety. Just like we need to drive cautiously while on road to ensure our safety, we need to surf the internet cautiously to protect ourselves from being exploited.