Watching Rafael Nadal play is a life lesson. He personifies sportsmanship, focus, determination and most importantly value in having a good defence. As any world champion will tell you, practice is key in reaching the top; but so is knowing your rival.
The same principle can be applied to our digital lives. We must protect our side of the net by understanding the plays that could be made against us, being alert and adopting good habits.
5 winning sets in cyber
Someone will impersonate a company or person you know and try to trick you into sharing a confirmation or one-time code.
These codes are typically needed to make a payment or to verify your identity when transferring an account to a new email or phone number.
The way to win this set is by never sharing passwords or confirmation/one-time codes with anyone, not even your bank.
When navigating the internet, you may end up on a fake or malicious website.
Someone will have created it to try to capture personal information, credit card details or banking credentials…
Be cautious when entering information on unfamiliar websites, make sure they are legitimate and begin with HTTPS (or have a lock next to the URL).
When it comes to online banking, save the URL in your favourites and use that instead of following a link shared by others.
Most suspicious messages contain a malicious link or file, that when clicked or opened can infect your device.
However, there are some cases where you simply receive an unexpected urgent request, pretending to be from someone you know– e.g. asking you to change account details and make a payment or provide sensitive information.
The way to return this service is to make sure that you verify any suspicious requests or messages with the sender.
To contact the sender don’t use the contact information in the message, but rather use contact details you already have or can find online (e.g. through a web search).
Gathering public information about you is another way that rivals will try to find weaknesses in your technique.
Someone may use the information available online and on social media to approach you and trick you into sharing more sensitive details.
You can anticipate this tactic by knowing what information is already out there about you and by checking the privacy settings of your social media accounts.
Using information from data leaks (e.g. username/email and passwords), someone may try to access your other online accounts.
Avoid re-using passwords, if one account is compromised, you may find that many others are too.
The moment you hear about a data leak, change your password and add MFA (multi factor authentication), if possible, with that service provider or online account.
Knowing how to respond to each of these tactics will help you ace the set. Keep practising, stay focused and don´t cave into pressure. If you want to win the match, always verify the information in case of doubt.