used with permission from Cisco

If you’re reading this right now, you’re on the internet. You appreciate the ability to work, surf and shop on the world wide web without having your information exploited, and you think you know the basics: use secure sites, don’t store your credit card information, and don’t open sketchy emails. In 2014, that may not be enough.

The sophistication of the technology and tactics used by online criminals—and their nonstop attempts to breach networks and steal data—have outpaced the ability of IT and security professionals to address these threats. With the rush of new technology, new threats were detected every day in 2013- up 14% from 2012. Here are some of our guidelines for staying safe in 2014.

  1. Make sure your computer’s security system is ALWAYS up to date. One-hundred percent of a sample of 30 of the world’s largest Fortune 500 company networks generated visitor traffic to Web sites that host malware.
  2. It’s not just your computer: Ninety-nine percent of all mobile malware targeted Android devices.
  3. Diversity is key: Java is the most common language spoken by computers- and the most frequently exploited programming language targeted by online criminals.
  4. Multipurpose Trojans counted as the most frequently encountered web-delivered malware, at 27 percent of total encounters in 2013. Keep your passwords safe and backdoors “locked” by checking all email attachments.
  5. Specific business sectors have a higher malware encounter rates. You’ve always been careful accessing higher risk sites in the pharmaceutical, chemical and electronics manufacturing industries, but now we’ve seen more malware encounters in the agriculture and mining sectors.

For more of our findings, check out the Cisco Annual Security Report.