Cybercrime, a major threat
You may think that stealing your financial data is the only form of cybercrime you have to worry about. But it’s not that simple. There are other dangers beyond those to your finances. Cybercrime is constantly evolving and bringing new threats to the forefront.
When you hear about online crime, you may be tempted to stop using the Internet altogether. However, this reaction would be a bit drastic.
Instead, to protect your privacy and data, you can start by learning to recognize cyber threats. Taking simple precautions and knowing who to contact when you see people engaging in criminal activity online are also important habits to adopt.
You may want to learn how to prevent cyber threats, but here’s the thing: you can’t. However, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself from them.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime encompasses all crimes that are committed online or primarily online. Cybercriminals often commit crimes by targeting computer devices or networks. Cybercrime encompasses several types of malicious acts ranging from exploiting a security hole to stealing personal data.
It is important to know that terrorists can also use the Internet to communicate, thus transferring their illicit activities and crimes into cyberspace.
How can you protect yourself against cyber threats?
Everyone who uses the Internet should take a few simple precautions. Here are 7 tips that will help you protect yourself against cyber threats.
1. Adopt a comprehensive Internet security suite
For example, Norton Security offers real-time protection against existing and emerging malware, including ransomware and viruses, and protects your confidential and financial data while you’re online.
2. Use strong passwords
Don’t use the same password on different sites and change them regularly. Make them complex. Use a combination of numbers, symbols and at least 10 letters. A password management application can help you protect your passwords.
3. Keep your software up to date
This is especially important for your operating systems and Internet security software. Cybercriminals frequently use known exploits or vulnerabilities in your software to gain access to your system. If you fix these exploits and vulnerabilities, you are less likely to become the target of a cyber threat.
4. Check your social network settings
Protect your personal and confidential data on social networks. Cybercriminals can often access your personal data with minimal information. Therefore, the less information you share publicly, the safer you are. For example, if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you can expose the answers to two common security questions.
5. Strengthen your security on Wi-Fi networks
For starters, it’s a good idea to use a strong password encryption and a virtual private network when using public Wi-Fi. A VPN (short for virtual private network) encrypts all traffic leaving your devices until it reaches its destination. If cybercriminals manage to hack your communication line, they won’t intercept anything but encrypted data. It’s a good idea to use a VPN when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, whether it’s in a library, coffee shop, hotel or airport.
6. Be aware of major security breaches
If you shop at an online retailer or have an account on a website that has been affected by a security breach, make sure you know what type of information cybercriminals have accessed and change your password immediately.
7. Take steps to protect yourself from personal data theft
Personal data theft occurs when someone obtains your personal information fraudulently or by tricking you, usually for profit. How is this possible? You can be lured into revealing personal data on the Internet, for example, or a cybercriminal can steal your physical mail to access account information sent to you. It is therefore imperative to protect your personal data. A VPN can also help you protect the data you send and receive online, especially when accessing the Internet on a public Wi-Fi network.
In a way, fighting cybercrime is everyone’s business. Consider it an obligation to do your part in the fight against cybercrime. For most of us, it comes down to following a few simple and logical rules to keep ourselves and our families safe.
Protecting your system against cybercrime is critical because the threat landscape is constantly changing. Organizations must evaluate the tools they have, invest in the future, and remember to adapt to the changing threat landscape. It is possible to get your organization or personal system off to a good start, now and in the future, by focusing on the basics listed above.