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UNDERSTANDING CYBER SECURITY

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By Darlington Lelata

According to the Global Digital Report 2019, the number of people using the internet has steadily been increasing each year, so has been the number of global cyber attacks on businesses and individuals. Cyber security threats continue to emerge and evolve every year and many cyber security experts concur that cybercrime is here to stay as long as our dependence on technology continues to grow.

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Zimbabwe as a nation has not been spared from cyber threats. Many people have fallen to victim unaware to these attacks and it is our hope that that this article will help shed some light on cyber security and ways to mitigate the cyber attacks.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security comprises technologies, processes and controls that are designed to protect systems, networks and data from cyber-attacks.

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What is a Cyber-Attack?

A cyber-attack is classified as any type of offensive action used by cyber criminals to deploy malicious code in your system with the purpose of stealing, altering, destroying or taking any advantage from this action. Cyber-attacks can target both people and things.  Individual users, computer networks, information systems, IT infrastructure of all types and sizes.

What are the consequences of a cyber-attack?

Cyber-attacks can disrupt and cause considerable financial and reputational damage to individuals, businesses and organization.

What are the Common types of Cyberattacks?

Phishing

Phishing is method that cyber criminals use in order to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by posing as a trustworthy entity in emails or other means of electronic communication. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability aspects of current web security technologies.  

Phishing is done through emails, instant messaging apps or social media posts. A phishing email could seem that it legitimately comes from your bank, and could trick you into entering valid credentials on a fake website.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware that essentially holds a computer system captive while demanding a ransom. This type of malware locks you out of your computer by either; encrypting files on the hard drive, or locking down the system and displaying messages that extort you into paying the malware creator to remove the restrictions and regain access to their computer, usually via a key. The bad news is that the malware creator is the only one who knows the key.

Ransomware typically spreads like a normal computer worm (by replicating itself in order to spread to other computers), and it could infect your system via a downloaded file or through some other vulnerability in a network service. The chances of retrieving your data are very slim, unless you’re willing to pay the ransom. But there is no guarantee that you will recover your data, even if you pay the requested ransom.

Zero-Day

Zero-Day exploit hits when cyber criminals discover a flaw in a piece of software. They exploit that vulnerability, launching an attack that users can’t defend themselves against, for two simple reasons:

  1. The flaw they exploit is attacked by launching a previously unknown computer virus or other malware
  2. Antivirus programs rely upon signatures to identify malware, but the signature for this new breed of malware or virus is not in their database, because it’s new and hasn’t been sampled.

Social engineering     
Social engineering is one of the most commonly used methods of cyber hacking, which requires little to no technology. It relies on psychological manipulation to persuade the victims to perform certain actions or divulge confidential information. For example criminals can call you on the phone pretending to be from your bank and trick you into divulging personal information such as your PIN or bank details.

Malware

Malware (short for malicious software) is one of the terms you’ll hear most often when it comes to cyber security threats. The terms define any software used by cyber criminals to; disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or unlawfully gain access to private computer systems.

 Malware is characterized by its malicious intent, because it acts stealthily to steal your information or to spy on your computer for a long time, without your knowledge.
 
‘Malware’ is a general term used to refer to an entire category of malicious or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other harmful programs.

What you can do to prevent Cyberattacks

We will take you through a few steps to significantly increase your online security and mitigate cyberattacks;

  1. Password Management

Use a strong mix of characters and don’t use the same password in more than one online account. By using different passwords, you minimize the potential loss you could suffer in case of a privacy breach.

  1. Software Updates

Keep your Devices Operating System and applications up to date. Many people don’t take these issues seriously, but software vulnerabilities are not something you can ignore. If you don’t update your operating system or application software, you’ll leave security holes open for cybercriminals to take advantage of.

  1. Public and free Wi-Fi

Be careful when connecting to public and free wireless networks. One of the favorite methods used by online criminals to retrieve your private data is to use wireless network sniffers to access data sent over unprotected networks. One way to increase your security is by using a “private browsing” session or VPN (Virtual Private Network)

  1. Links and Email attachments

Always check the link or attachment before you click on it. Phishing exploits are usually done by using email messages that apparently come from financial institutions or well-known, trusted brands and persons. To make sure you won’t be infected by clicking on dangerous links, double check the link to see if you are directed to a legitimate website.

  1. Secure Browsing

Your web browser is the main tool you use to access Internet. Thus, you should pay a great deal of attention to secure it correctly. Sensitive browsing such as banking, online shopping should be done on a device that belongs to you or network that you trust.

  1. Social Media

Exposing personal details on social media may lead cybercriminals to finding your vulnerable personal data. For the same reason, check your kids’ social media behavior to make sure they won’t expose private information that may possibly be used against you, in phishing attacks (home address, what you own, where you do your shopping, where you go to school, where you work, etc.)


Thank you for reading. We hope this article has given you some clarity on Cyber Security and how you can minimize cyberattacks.

About Us

Paradox has a wealth of experience in the cyber security and risk management field. Our services can be tailored for organizations of all sizes in any industry and location. To find out more on how our cyber security services can protect your organization, or to receive some guidance and advice, speak to one of our experts on WhatsApp +263778848127 778848127, Telephone: +263734324094. Website; www.paradox.co.zw

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FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE

14 Ways To Earn Passive Income In 2021

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passive income

By: Claire Makoni

Earn Songwriting Royalties

If you love to write music, you can create passive income by recording your songs and then publishing them through a variety of channels. You earn royalties anytime your music is played on streaming services like Apple Music, or Spotify, or played on the radio. You can even license your music for TV, movies, and videos without the backing of a major record label.

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Purchase Music Royalties

Perhaps your talent isn’t to write music. That’s ok, you can still get into the music royalty game by purchasing the rights to song catalogues owned by other artists. Royalty Exchange is an online auction that allows you to bid on existing music catalogues. These are songs that are already earning regular, passive income for their current owners. When you purchase music royalties, you’re buying the future cash flow, which is purely passive income.

Photo Licensing

Photographers can build passive income by selling stock photos online. You’ll need to produce lots of content to earn a decent amount of money, but it can be a nice supplement to other, more labor-intensive work, like wedding or family photography. One benefit to stock photo licensing is that you can sell the same pictures to many different buyers. There is no shortage of stock photo websites where you can sell your work. Dreamstime and Snapwire are just two of the more popular stock photo sites out there.

Record an Audiobook

One of the best ways for content creators to increase their income is by releasing their content in as many formats as possible. For example, if you’ve written a paperback book or even an ebook, you’ll want to consider recording an audiobook version. There is no shortage of people who prefer listening to books instead of reading them. You can record the audio yourself, or pay someone else to do it for you. Once your audiobook is ready to go, it can be available for purchase online for years, making it the ideal passive income source.

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Buy and Sell Domain Names

Buying and selling domain names is a bit like trading on the stock market. The goal is to buy low and sell high, but there can be some risk involved. There are people who earn good money buying domain names that they believe will increase in value over time, with the hopes of selling at a profit.

Start a Blog

Over time, it’s possible to create multiple passive income streams with a blog, through affiliate marketing, or display advertising, for example. But building a blog from scratch is anything but passive. You’ll need to be consistent in creating new content, and spend time promoting your blog. One of the best things about blogging is the low barrier of entry. If you have a computer and a wifi connection, you can get started for as little as a few dollars per month.

Start a Podcast

It seems everyone has a podcast these days, and while many people do it out of pure enjoyment, there’s a lot of money that can be made. As you build a reliable following, you can begin selling advertising via sponsorships to brands that wish to get in front of your audience. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of work involved in finding guests and conducting interviews, but the opportunity to build a passive income stream is there.

Start a YouTube Channel

If you can consistently create videos that people want to watch, you can build an audience on Youtube. This is important because, with an audience, you can begin to make money, by joining the YouTube Partner Program. Most of your earnings will come from ads, which are aired within your video content, however, there are more ways to make money. YouTube can also drive traffic to your website and social media channels, making passive income opportunities endless.

Sell Digital Products/Downloadables

Thousands of people earn passive income by creating digital products that people can download and use. From spreadsheets to productivity tools, calendars, and checklists, the possibilities are endless. Once you’ve created your winning product, you can make it available for download on your own website, or through a third-party platform.

Develop an Online Course

If you have expertise in a specific area, rest assured there’s someone out there willing to pay you for your knowledge. You can create an ebook on the topic, or develop an online course, and then sell it on your own website, or on an online learning marketplace like Udemy. No skill is too small to share with others. You could sell a course on creating a killer resume, starting a podcast, or how to travel hack a trip to Europe. With online courses, most of the hard work happens early on, when you’re creating the content. From there, with an effective marketing strategy, you’ll have yourself a nice, passive income stream.

Run Website Display Ads

If you have your own website, you can sign up to have ads displayed within the content on your site. The most well-known ad service is Google Adsense. Adsense displays ads that are relevant to your site content and that match your visitor’s preferences. When guests engage with an ad, you make money. Also, the higher your site traffic, the higher your income.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have your own blog or website, one of the best ways to make passive income is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing involves promoting someone else’s product or service, and earning a commission whenever a sale is generated directly from your recommendation. The most well-known affiliate program may be the one run by online retail giant Amazon, but there are thousands of other companies with programs of their own. Affiliate income takes time to build, but if you’re successful, it can be one of the best ways to make passive income.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a form of e-commerce where the seller doesn’t hold the product, instead, it’s shipped to the customer directly from the supplier. The seller’s job is to find products to buy at a wholesale price, and then sell them at the retail price, by advertising them through an e-commerce store, like Shopify. When orders are placed, they go directly to the supplier who ships the product to the customer. The seller profits from the spread between the retail and wholesale price. Dropshipping has become very competitive, but if you can find a product that people want, and sell it at a profit, there’s lots of passive income to be made.

Learn to Outsource

If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you have a tendency to want to control all aspects of your business. After all, no one else understands it as you do, nor is anyone else as invested as you are. But the problem with doing everything yourself is that the money you make becomes anything but passive.

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SUCCESS STORIES

Dr. Vere’s Coat of Many Colours

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By Gilbert Sikanyika

Doctor Kudzanai Vere belongs to the group of African young Turks determined to conquer the world and leave permanent foot-steps on the sands of life.

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I have known Dr. Vere through social interactions over the years and I have come to know him as a pragmatic, hard-working, and purpose-driven person. He sets high goals and when he attains those goals, he sets even higher goals. He places a high premium on his aspirations. He challenges himself to challenge challenges in his life. He does not take “no” for an answer…He knocks, knocks, and keeps knocking until doors of opportunities fling open before him. He is tenacious and aggressive in his daily operations. He does not wait for opportunities; instead, he creates opportunities for himself. He is a workaholic if ever there was one.

He was compelled to stop school in form 4 due to family financial constraints but that could not deter him from pursuing his dreams. He started working as a Receiving and Costing Clerk at Redstar in Nyanga in Zimbabwe and he rose through the ranks to become Branch Manager within a spell of three years. He was arguably the youngest Branch Manager heading a Blue Chips Company when he was only 22 years old.

Doctor Vere has “A coat of many colours.” He is an entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker of international repute. He enjoys developing people in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Personal Development, Practical Business Management, Organizational Development, Financial Literacy, and Leadership Development.

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Just what makes him tick

He gets inspiration from motivating himself and others. His life gets better when he impacts lives in Business related issues. He was born in a family of 10 in a remote area of Zimbabwe in Nyanga. He went to Maereka primary school, Nyatate school, and Mapako High School. He has also attended: Zimbabwe Open University, British College Of Professional Management, Coppetstone University among others. He has:

  • Diploma in Accounting
  • Diploma In Accounting In Business Management
  • Bcom Accounting
  • Certified Public Accountancy
    -Master of Arts in Leadeship and Management
    -Registered Public Accounting
    -Certified Forensic
    -Doctorate in Phylosophy in Entrepreneurship among others.

Dr. Vere is also a notable and versatile writer whose books such as Becoming A Person Of Impact and Exceed Beyond The Ordinary have blessed multitudes of people. It seems he is a “Jack of all trades and master of everything.”

His books have impacted the hordes of people from all walks of life because of the nuggets of life they carry. His presence is being felt almost everywhere and so far so good. Although he never completed formal education, he is a self-made man who has managed to school himself and has acquired a string of diplomas and degrees and was recently conferred with a Doctorial degree in recognition of his teachings and passion for entrepreneurship.


“The whole of my adult life I have been learning business at times passively and at other times actively. I have vast years of business management, ” he said. His ultimate goal in life is to become an oasis of inspiration in Business circles. He is married to a lovely lady Fortune who is the Managing Director of the family business empire. Doctor Vere is also blessed with a wife and five children.

Gilbert Sikanyika is a Writing Prophet based in Zambia

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OPPORTUNITIES

Developers/ Programmers (Graduate Trainees) Wanted X 3 : YPPZ

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Young People’s Program Zimbabwe Youth Association (YPPZ) is recruiting graduate trainees from the following disciplines:

  • Information Technology & Information Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Sciences

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