Have you ever thought about how much of “you” is on your electronics? If you are like most smartphone, tablet or laptop users, these small devices hold much of your life in the form of emails, texts, credit card numbers, photos, passwords, family names, birthdates, and so forth. Should anyone with malicious intent get hold of this information, they could use it to steal your money or leave you with exorbitant bills in their wake.
How Does Cybercrime Work
There is one prominent reason for the existence of cybercrime; they want to steal money. They will take the money you have in accounts or create loans and credit accounts to run up large balances, leaving you with the bill. The challenge for consumers is that thieves rapidly change methods to stay ahead of legal channels and circumvent apps and programs designed to stop them.
Fraud can occur in simple forms such as an unguarded cell phone that is sold online for a few extra dollars. Advanced forms of theft involve trolling unsecured networks for careless consumers, to sophisticated hacking into corporate computer systems. Whatever form the attack takes, you are vulnerable unless you maintain current protection on all your devices.
What Type of Attacks Are Most Prevalent?
- Email Spam: This was the beginning of cyberspace criminality and is still popular today because it works. A spammer sends an unsolicited email to your mailbox. When you open the attachment, it downloads software that can then track your movements online including obtaining passwords to sensitive accounts. Enticements to get a “click” include cheap medicines, illicit invitations, and lottery winnings.
The Solution: raise the settings on your spam filter and never open links from unknown sources. Your email provider frequently updates software designed to recognize spam redirecting it out of your inbox. Delete spam on a regular basis. Don’it unsubscribe to spam email as it confirms the email address as legitimate and may result in more spam.
- Phishing: Emails pretending to be from your bank or your email service provider or any unsolicited mail asking for personal information is called phishing. When you click on the link, you arrive at a site looking almost exactly like the bank website, but it is an imposter. Any information provided goes to criminals.
The Solution: Never click on links embedded in the email. Type the web address and go directly to the website to check your messages. Legitimate emails from your financial institution will instruct you to log into your account rather than click on the link.
- Social Media Attacks: Cyber criminals also iinvade social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You might see a post with enticing headline or breaking news, that lead to a link requesting personal information.
The Solution: Increase privacy settings on your social media account and use caution when clicking on or sharing links within the website.
It requires vigilance to keep your private information safe online. The use of the internet is a worldwide phenomenon, which gives those in other countries, as well as our own, opportunities to trick consumers into divulging private information. They add this to data to what they find on line in public records to steal money or create accounts in your name. Take these steps to protect your email and social media accounts from cyber-attacks.