If you or your business is connected to the Internet, it's only a matter of time before you end up on the hit list of cyber criminals. Why? Data is king in this digital age. Information like passwords, email addresses, home address, and financial information is attractive to cyber criminals. With this information, criminals can sell it to the highest bidder on the dark web. Cyber crime is forever evolving. This year, not only will you have to watch out for large scale cyber attacks that target the companies that hold your data, you will also need to be on the lookout for cyber attacks from less tech savvy individuals looking to make a quick buck, and cyber crime that directed to you personally. What can you do to keep yourself safe from this new rage of attacks? Follow these tips.
1. Rose Phishing. One of the most common ways of hacking a personal or business computer is phishing emails. In case you don't know, 'phishing' is the art of tricking an email recipient into giving up information from a fake email posing as a legitimate email. The most common phishing emails are fake invoices, emails that look like the come from large companies or even your friends that will trick you into giving up your personal information or clicking on a link that takes you to a web site that will break into your computer or device. Now with many large data leaks and the information contained in your social media accounts, hackers can now create phishing emails that are designed just for you. Let's say you go on a business or personal trip and post that information on social media. A criminal can create an email stating that is a problem with your flight or they could create one saying you left items at the hotel you were staying. It would be very tempting for you to click on that link.
Prevention: Take your time and examine all of your emails to make sure it isn't a scam. It would be helpful for you to take the email phishing scam test by visiting https://phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/
2. Mobile Device Malware. More people are relying on mobile devices like smartphone and tablets and less on computers. Cyber-criminals are aware of this. Apple device users don't have to worry so much. Apple does an excellent job of securing their devices and making sure malicious software doesn't make it to the app store. Android users should be on the lookout however. The Android environment is designed to be more open. Users can easily make changes to the operating system and just about anyone can upload apps to the Google Play store. It makes for a very dangerous environment because it's easy for criminals from all levels to design emails and apps designed to damage your devices.
Prevention: Always take precautions when downloading apps for the app store and surfing the web on your devices. Check the reviews in the Google Play store to see if the apps you're downloading are legit. People will leave reviews on apps that are bogus and have infected their devices.
3. Internet of Things Hijacking. Homes and businesses are adding Internet connected devices everyday. Smart cameras and digital assistants are becoming the norm in our everyday lives. These devices are great, but if not set up properly they can be a gateway into our personal home or business space. Just think if a cyber criminal could gain access to your web camera to watch every step you take or if they gain access to your digital assistant to hear all of your conversations. It could be a nightmare for you and a treasure of information that they gain from you.
Prevention: Unless you are familiar with setting up smart devices, you need to have a professional to set up these devices for you. At very least, change the default passwords on these devices to keep the bad guys out.
4. Cryptojacking. Crytojacking is the act of cybercriminals using your computers or devices to mine crypto currency. For those of you who don't know, Cryptocurrency is a from of electronic money which can be earned by mining. The average person can setup a computer to mine for currency, but mining takes up a lot of power and for you to generate a lot of currency, you need a lot of computers. Rather than purchasing a lot of computers or devices, criminials resort to Cyptojacking which is essentially using the resources of your computers and devices to mine for Cyptocurrency. No information is stolen from your devices, but if your computer or gadgets are hi-jacked, it can lead to ruined devices.
Prevention: Cryptojacking is hard to detect, but there are browser plugins you can install for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. “No Coin” and “MinerBlock,” block mining activities.
Hackers are always looking for new ways to get your information, so it's hard to predict what methods they will use next. If you follow the basic steps of using your anti-virus software, keeping a close watch on your emails, and checking to see if your data is safe with sites like www.haveibeenpwned.com and www.fightingidentitycrimes.com, you can keep your data and devices safe and out of the hands of cybercriminals.
If you have any questions about your technology and your devices, please feel free to contact us at Integral. Our friendly tech experts at Integral are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun. Reach out to us a www.integralcomputerconsutants.com or phone at 888.256.0829.
I'm the Chief Technology Expert at Integral. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I want to make technology fun and exciting for you. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org