Today our electronic devices are an important part of our lives and it is hard to imagine that we can do without them. Our constant use of technology is what keeps us in touch to pay bills, stay on top of what's new, and shop and research things that give us an edge. However, our data may be exposed to criminals, who commit criminal acts such as identity theft and credit card fraud, unless we take appropriate precautions.
Our increasing reliance on electronic devices is part of the reason that cybersecurity careers are growing at a rapid rate. Jobs in information security, web development, and computer network architecture—three fields at the forefront of cybersecurity—are expected to grow 22% between 2014 and 2022.
Understanding the threats can help everyone do their part to make those jobs easier. Here are seven top cyber security threats and their corresponding tips to protect yourself.
Most users are unaware of the risks that exist when using their smartphone or tablet with WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, downloading entertainment applications without rhyme or reason, downloading banking applications, accessing pornography sites, or making pirated downloads. of movies, music, and games that, many times, is accompanied by malware that will come to reside on their devices.
The most important piece of software that every device should have is a set of tools to protect users through a combination of antivirus, antispyware, and firewall. These three components perform very different but complementary tasks and the user should buy and update a package daily that will guarantee a higher degree of security and privacy (you can buy McAfee, Kaspersky, or Norton, more information here).
Malware and bots
If you've ever spent a frustrating afternoon calling a helpline to block a virus, then you know how malware affects you. Malware slows down your machine, steals your information, and attacks government sites you don't want to have a problem with.
Through malware, hackers take over users' computers, laptops, phones, or tablets and track their every move to see the passwords they've entered, especially when they download a free photo, video, game, or materials. pirates, which records information using cookies. But that is the least harmful, since in the worst case, “bugs” stay on the machine, recording what the user does and taking control of their computer to perpetrate financial crimes or attack networks and websites. This configuration is known as a botnet.
Worst of all, there is a wide possibility that the netizen will contaminate his acquaintances and contacts that he has in his mail or on Facebook. So you should be wary of who claims to send a funny video or a compromising photo of someone attractive.
Spreading malware on social networking sites is something that is growing at an alarming rate, including through social networking sites like Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Because despite the fact that social networking sites have systems in place to minimize such risks, malware writers are very resourceful and their main breeding ground is all social networks.
Accounts hacked by phishing
A common way to gain control of customers' personal information is through digital crimes known as "phishing." In this practice, fraudsters create an email that looks like it was generated by a legitimate company. They will ask for personal information from the recipient of the email – such as their account number or password – and then use this information to commit financial crimes, such as obtaining fraudulent credit cards in the name of a consumer or creating large bills that the affected person will have to pay.
Electronic frauds have been successful, since they use social engineering techniques to gain user trust. For example, a scam complaint may be related to traveling to another country seeking your help. This could be from an email from a supposed “nephew” who was robbed, lost his wallet, and needs you to wire him money immediately. It is a natural reaction to want to help someone in trouble. That's what phishers count on.
Spam (junk mail)
A few years ago I met John Thompson, the current president of Microsoft when he was the CEO of Symantec. Back then I asked him a difficult question: “How to end spam, or how to eliminate spam?”. His response was that it could not be done, since sending emails is free.
And indeed, 99.99% of the cases "spam" is email equivalent to junk mail. Some of these mass emails may contain a link or a file that downloads a virus. The virus is not so much the problem as the Trojan that comes inside it. That is to be feared.
Personally, I have seen and helped people whose Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail accounts were hacked by accessing a free Internet connection from an airport or in a cafe, and now that the hacker already knows your username and the password, then he studies who he is, how he communicates, as well as some basic habits, to send a message to each of his contacts and ask them for a deposit of money because "his friend" is in disgrace. Worst of all, if out of all your contacts, one or two people fall for this scam, it will be a profit for the criminal.
Unsafe homes with wireless networks
When we contract a telephone line service or Internet access for the house, a technician usually comes who leaves the device working and, although it works for him, gives him an access code before leaving. However, today there are free tools that any youngster can download from the Internet and they are used to break simple passwords. For example, 50% of the keys are 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, or ABC or 99999 or 55555, followed by 10 % that are dates of birth or the name of the couple.
If you are in any of the above cases, you are in serious danger, since it will be possible to enter your personal network and observe all the information packets that pass through the communication tube. And if you regularly check your balance or do shopping or banking transactions online from the comfort of your home, there's a good chance you have an unwanted tenant who will use all that information to take money from you and everyone else you know. use the service.
If you have information with personal photos, card numbers, etc. on a device such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and it is lost or stolen, you are in deep trouble. All your devices must always have a key to enter and the more complex it is, the better.
No matter how upset your wife or husband is, you should always put a security key on your tablet, phone, and computer. In fact, in many devices, there is the possibility of knowing their location, or of erasing the information remotely when the device disappears. Remember that in the wrong hands, such a device can be very compromising.