How to Secure your Device’s Operating System

This week’s bulletin on CyberSecurity by the National Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) highlights how to keep your Operating system (OS) safe.

The OS is the most important software that runs on your phone or computer. It manages your device’s processes, software, hardware and also the memory of the device. Examples of common operating system are: Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, MacOS and ChromeOS. For the phone, common OSs are Android and iOS.

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Common OS Attacks

  • Remote Code Execution (RCE): This happens when cybercriminals run a random malicious code on your device. By doing so, the attacker can gain full control of the entire network for your device or even an entire corporate system. They can also tamper with privileges and access codes and exploit other permissions to their advantage.
  • Denial of Service (DoS): This happens when cybercriminals make services to your devices unavailable. In most cases, they disrupt the services of the users connected to the internet temporarily or indefinitely.
  • Information disclosure: This happens when cybercriminals obtain users personal data. They do so by exploiting the existing OS Software bugs to access the device’s memory and steal information.

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How to Secure your OS

  • Make a point of updating your software as it is always enhanced with critical security patches. Your OS always gives you notifications of the latest updates with a prompt to get started.
  • Shut down or delete apps and services that have access to your network and are not in use. Cyber criminals can use some of these idle apps to execute their schemes.
  • Ensure that any sensitive information and communication is encrypted
  • Keep an encrypted back up of your data.
  • Use strong passwords that cannot be guessed easily using brute force attacks. Avoid birthdays, children’s names and such as they are common. Also, make a point of changing your password periodically
  • Ensure that you have a good anti virus software that monitors your device or system for any security threats and breaches.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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