It used to be simple to avoid picking up a virus online. You stuck to trusted websites, didn’t download anything, or simply went offline. Nowadays, with the advances made in tech, things are a lot more complicated.
Cybercrime is set to cost in the region of $2 trillion in 2019!
It’s a real growth industry that is very appealing for the criminal mindset. It’s fairly easy money and, with the software out there can be set to make you a nice passive income. Essentially, it’s the criminal’s version of the Four Hour Work Week, ramped up to make a lot more money.
If you have a knack for computers, are willing to colour outside the lines, and not too fussed about sticking to the rules, you could earn yourself a tidy income as a hacker.
If you’d prefer to earn an honest living, you will need to protect yourself against a variety of cyber attacks. Let’s have a look at the more common kinds of attacks.
Phishing attacks are most commonly emails that look like they’re from a legitimate company that you deal with. The idea with these is to get you to either provide details or log into a fake site so that the criminals have your username and password.
So, maybe you’ll get an email from the taxman saying that you’re due a refund, or maybe a message from your bank telling you that your account has been compromised and you need to reset your password straight away.
There are hundreds of different tactics that the hacker will use, but all have the same goal – getting personal details out of you.
Which is why you should never click a link in an email unless you are 110% sure you know where it leads. If necessary, find the site yourself, and then log in to check from there, or contact the company.
Don’t we love our apps? I know, when I first got my iPhone, I went app crazy – I ended up with four pages of apps on my phone. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the phone got hacked. In 2016 alone, 37 million of the 150 million apps available had malware coded into them.
The goal of the malware in this instance depends on what the programmer intended, but it could be to gather information, gain control of a device, or even just destroy all the data on the device.
Attacks Via Social Media
The recent Facebook scandal highlighted the importance of keeping your personal information off your social media accounts. What was really frightening here was that most of the victims had nothing to do with the actual attack itself.
It was one of those fun polls that you complete in your spare time. But you had to agree to allow the app access to your content list. What you might not have realized is that by doing this you not only exposed your information but also the information of anyone connected to you on Facebook.
These are only three potential ways that hackers might gain access to your data. There are plenty more ways out there. That’s why it’s best to always stay wary, question everything, and be very circumspect when it comes to what you do and share online.