Cyber Security : They know everything about you!

They know everything about you!

With the rise in cybercrimes, how do you keep yourself safe?

Do NOT click! In today’s world, surviving half an hour without your phone or your laptop seems like an award-worthy task. Our mobile phones, laptops, computers, tablets etc. have become an indispensible part of our life, and when it asks us for our personal and private details, of course, we type them out, sharing everything that our parents tell us not to share with anyone. But the question is: how safe is our data in our phones? Is it truly safe and secure at all?

Cyber Crime

What is it: Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm or loss to the victim.

What they do: Threaten a person or nation’s security and financial health by committing crimes such as hacking, copyright infringement, unwarranted mass-surveillance, sextortion, child pornography, and privacy intrusion.

How they do it: Use Internet platforms like chat rooms, emails, social media, and mobile services like Bluetooth and MMS.

Oh no, not this!

Cyber Crime is not a term in itself. It has the ability to dupe a victim in more ways than one. Here are some of the most common forms:

Hacking

Committed by an intruder by accessing a computer system without permission. Basically computer programmers, hackers have expert-level skills in software programmes and misuse this knowledge for devious reasons.

How to prevent it:
  • Create passwords that consist of a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters.
  • Don’t use the same password for different accounts.
  • Never give out your password to site administrators.
  • Use two-factor authentication of entering a code sent in a text message or email.

 

Virus Dissemination

Viruses, essentially computer programs, infect a system or a file, and have tendency to circulate to other computers on a network. They disrupt the computer operation and affect the data stored – either by modifying it or by deleting it altogether.

How to prevent it:
  • Install anti-virus software on your systems to ensure protection against viruses.
  • Keep anti-virus software up to date.
  • Run regularly scheduled scans with your anti-virus software without fail.
  • Don’t access unknown open Wi-Fi networks which might be non-encrypted.

 

Phising

 A technique to extract confidential information such as credit card numbers and username password combos by masquerading as legitimate emails from reliable sources. The malware installs itself on the computer and steals private information.

How to prevent it:
  • Look for logos and names that are similar to well-known websites but aren’t exactly the same.
  • Hover your cursor over the hyperlinked URL (no clicking), and check if the address matches with the one written in the message.
  • Watch out for fake threats like “your email account will be closed if you don’t reply to this email” and such messages. 

Identity Theft

Identity theft is someone stealing an identity to access credit cards, bank accounts, and other benefits, or even to commit other crimes.

How to prevent it:
  • Whenever anyone contacts you asking for private identity or financial information, first find out if the source is authentic.
  • Always use strong passwords and be aware of information you give out.
  • Check all your financial and personal accounts regularly for suspicious activity.

Software Piracy

It provides almost any movie, software, or song from any origin for free. This basically implies that someone else’s intellectual property is being used for free, cutting down their income and profits.

How to prevent it:
  • Read ‘End User License Agreement’ before purchasing any software product.
  • Purchase CD software only from reputable manufacturers and resellers.
  • Purchase software downloads directly from authentic websites.
  • Register your software to prevent others from attempting to install your software on their computers.

Apps to Cut the Crap

With every trouble, comes a hand out to help. Here are some of the apps which can provide a shield against troublemakers:

  1. Avast! Security – A free app providing antivirus protection through app scanning and a web shield that scans URLs for malware. With a 99.99% detection rate, it is built on an anti-theft protection technology that allows users to control their smartphones from a remote firewall that blocks WiFi and other network access at will.
  2. Sophos Antivirus Security – It regularly scans apps before downloading, and routinely scans currently installed apps, searching for data vulnerabilities or viruses, which could infect your device. It can also identify NSFW (Not Safe for Work) apps and supports remote commands in the case of loss or theft.
  3. Norton Security – A well-known name in the antivirus scene and popular amongst review channels, Norton has been continuously upgrading its app to meet stringent protection standards.
  4. NextGov Safety – An iOS app that keep users abreast of cyber data breaches on a global level. It pushes daily alerts regarding current threats and data breaches, along with news and commentary from a team of reporters, even producing its own data intrusion “dashboard”.

Cyber Facts

  1. One in every 4 companies and organisations have, at some point been hit by Cyber Crime, causing financial as well as privacy breaches.
  2. In India, a cybercrime occurs every 10 minutes.
  3. The most expensive computer virus costed $38.5 billion as damage.
  4. One in every 5 Android users have experienced at least one mobile threat till date.
  5. The global annual cost of Cybercrime will reach $2trillion by 2019.
  6. On a popular social media interface like Twitter, over 71 million accounts have been hacked.
  7. 91% of the attacks begin by email phishing.
  8. The most common way to transfer malware is through e-mail attachments.
  9. Viruses and Malware account for over 70% of all online breaches.

 

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