The thought of some random hacker gleaning an insight into your life, and having your finances in their hands – now that is scary. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have grown smarter over the years. Finding new, intuitive ways to hack their way through your firewall and right into your personal information.
Cybercriminal activity has increased by 38% in the last year alone.
Of course, there are different shapes, and forms of cybercriminal activity. Some being a harmless entertainment for a lonely hacker. Others being grand overnight get rich schemes targeting both wealthy personal individuals and small businesses alike.
No one wants to be bullied by random criminals on the web. Which is why we decided to share some great tips to help you identify different cybercrime schemes, and how to protect yourself from them.
Cybercriminals Love Going Phishing For Your Money
- 1 Cybercriminals Love Going Phishing For Your Money
We know, we know.
Who doesn’t love fishing for some fresh salmon or trout? Unfortunately, this cybercriminal scheme is far from pleasant. Rather than fishing for a nice fresh piece of meat. Cybercriminals go phishing for your hard-earned money.
This technique is targeted to both personal accounts, and small businesses. Which is why it is so important to be on the lookout.
As the saying goes, “If something sounds too good to be true – it’s because it is.” Keep your eyes open for suspicious emails or links. Also, let your employees know they have to pay attention to what they’re doing on the internet. Opening one suspicious email could mean trouble for your business.
The popular way cyber criminals approach this specific technique is through fraudulent emails, and website links. These emails may be “Great News! We have free money for you” or “We noticed some strange behaviour on your banking account – please confirm this was you.”
The majority of the time, the aim of these emails is to collect personal credentials, which can then be used to breach your banking accounts, or even your Paypal account. Here are some tips to identify various phishing approaches.
Your Offense Is Your Best Defence – Keep Your Software Up To Date
It’s annoying when your computer randomly shuts off for an update. Or when your antivirus keeps nagging you for an update.
But we cannot emphasize how important it is to keep your software up to date.
A prime example of this comes in the form of pop up ads – you know that thing everyone hates! Unfortunately, these ads are everywhere. They are implemented into websites to make it almost impossible to not click.
Now imagine your antivirus software was not up to date?
Before you know it, your computer is jam-packed with cyber worms, a trojan, or key-stroking zombie software. All of which can render personal information available to hackers, or even worse – wreak havoc on your computer.
All of this can be avoided by simply keeping your software up to date.
Cyber Stalking May Be A Form Of Bullying But It Is Still A Crime
As we mentioned there are countless different types of cybercriminal activities out there. Not all of them are aimed at money and personal information.
The digital era has been the foundation behind great leaps in technology, and general human nature. But bullying is bullying – whether its online or physically. Which is where cyberstalking enters the picture.
The problem with cyberstalking is more often than not, the web starts to become boring. The bully starts to look at offline approaches, which can pose a huge threat to your wellbeing.
If you think someone is cyberstalking you, or worse – you notice them in public – think about hiring an attorney to get you out of a sticky situation.
Cyber Hostages! Protect Your Business From Ransomware
This particular cyber scheme focuses on small businesses. Your client’s personal information is a goldmine. Cybercriminals know it, and they want access. Which is where ransomware becomes threatening.
This form of cybercriminal activity is when a hacker accesses your company critical information, and takes it hostage – meaning prohibiting your employees from accessing the money. The majority of the time this is used to negotiate a fee for the information.
That is why it is important to consistently back up critical information to a secure offsite location. Another great idea is to upload your business to the most secure place on the web – the cloud. Want more tips to help you fight ransomware? Here is everything you need to know.
Password Integrity Is Incredibly Important
90% of consumers set easy to remember passwords even for their most important accounts. Why? Because no one enjoys forgetting their password and being locked out of their account. The problem is this leaves you vulnerable to even the novice hackers out there.
So how do you maintain password integrity?
The first, and most important thing is to never have the same password for more than a single account. The last thing you want is one account to be breached, leaving the rest vulnerable.
You should also ensure that your passwords are at least eight characters long, contain one symbol (hashtag, numbers etc), and a variety of large caps and small caps where applicable.
Post Cyber Crime Cyber Criminal Activity
Woah… wait, that is confusing.
Yeah, cybercriminals can sure be intelligent when it comes to taking advantage of someone desperate. When your company, or you personally get hit with cyber crime it is frustrating, scary, and nerve wracking.
Which is why it is natural to go to a professional to help you out. Certainly, more so when it comes to ransomware – which generally involves a lot of money up for grabs.
That is why cybercriminals started posing as consultants to help you through the tough time. The problem is they do the exact opposite of helping.
They take advantage of your situation to glean information and make the situation worse. Leaving your financials in despair, or gaining personal information to take out loans, and credit cards in your name.