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Better security on the Internet: our tips

E-banking, shopping, chatting – nowadays, more and more is being done online. Very practical and time-saving but also vulnerable: hackers are targeting private individuals too. Professional hacker Ivan Bütler reveals his secret tips.

12 August 2019, author: Natascha Fabian, photo: Helvetia

A woman with a cup in her hand is surfing on the internet on her laptop.
When a private PC is attacked by hackers, often it’s not only your personal data that are at risk. Protect yourself with our five tips.

Cyber security is no longer just a concern for companies. Private individuals, too, are increasingly falling victim to cyber attacks. These attacks can target not only your personal assets (for example, when a purchase is made online in your name); hackers can also exploit your personal environment to infringe upon the rights of others (by stealing external data stored on your PC, for instance). Ivan Bütler – professional hacker and partner of Helvetia – has already carried out various hacks. “So far there's been virtually no company that was absolutely secure,” he says in an interview. In addition to five widely known tips for security on the Internet he provided us with a further four secret tips.

Five tried-and-tested tips for security on the Internet 

  1. Mitigate the risks by installing updates for systems, programs and apps as soon as they become available and making sure you don't send any sensitive data over the Internet in unprotected form (unencrypted email, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
  2. Use long and varying passwords: a password should ideally be at least 12 characters long and also contain numbers and special characters. Always you two-stage authentication if you have the option of doing so (e.g. for e-banking).
  3. Under no circumstances open email attachments from unknown senders and do not transmit confidential data to external individuals.
  4. Make back-ups about once a week and save valuable data on an external carrier (e.g. USB stick).
  5. Protect yourself against malicious software and unauthorised access with an up-to-date anti-virus program and firewall.

Secret tips from professional hackers

  1. It’s good to have someone in your circle of friends and acquaintances who is familiar with computers and mobile phones. In an emergency you have someone to call on.
  2. Never save passwords in your mobile phone’s notes application because they are stored in a cloud and on the phone and are not really protected.
  3. To protect personal data while surfing, use the incognito or safe-browsing mode for e-banking or payments in online shops.
  4. And most importantly: take tried-and-tested cyber security tips seriously. The most important one is to have a back-up.

Even if you take every precaution in the world, however, you can never be 100% protected. That’s why Helvetia has launched cyber insurance for private individuals. Since cyber risks can affect not only you but also third parties, cyber protection is available as an add-on to various types of insurance. 

Cyber protection as an add-on to household insurance

Covers the following costs arising from Internet usage:

Cyber protection as an add-on to liability insurance

Covers the following costs arising from Internet usage:

Financial losses resulting from an online purchase triggered by a hacker attack
Infringement of copyrights or rights to names or trademarks belonging to third parties
Recovery of digital data and software following criminal activities
Unintended dissemination of viruses that afflict PCs belonging to third parties and delete data
Deletion/correction of content that maligns your character (cyber mobbing)
Negligent handling of data belonging to third parties
Identity fraud
Infringement of copyrights or rights to names or trademarks by external individuals  
Financial losses due to e-banking or credit card fraud

Ivan Bütler at Digital Day

Ivan Bütler will carry out live hacks at Digital Day on 3 September in Zurich; he will use a number of examples to show how easy it is to access other people's data and will provide helpful tips. If you cannot attend in person you can watch here on live stream and ask questions.

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