Today, cybercriminals use a variety of tools and techniques to carry out cyberattacks. These hackers can target anyone, at any time, and from almost anywhere. In the past few years, it’s safe to say that cybercrime has grown more prevalent than ever before. Even now, there are more new ways in which cybercriminals can target people every single day. To avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, it’s important for everyone to understand where these attacks commonly take place and what you can do to protect yourself from a potential attack. With so many different ways for cybercriminals to attack you or your company, it’s important that you understand which factors increase your risk of being targeted by a hacker. In this blog post, we’ll go over the top 10 places cybercriminals target and tips on how you can protect yourself against them.
Introduction to cybercrime
Cybercrime is the use of computers or other digital devices to steal information, money, or other assets from individuals or organizations. Cybercriminals use a variety of tools and techniques to carry out cyberattacks. These hackers can target anyone, at any time, and from almost anywhere. There are an estimated 1,000 malicious cyberattacks taking place every single second, with many of these attacks targeting high-profile companies, celebrities, and everyday people. In the past few years, it’s safe to say that cybercrime has grown more prevalent than ever before. The amount of money lost to cybercrime is staggering. It is estimated that cybercrime will cost the world about $10.5 trillion by 2025. This staggering amount makes cybercrime one of the fastest-growing criminal activities in the world today. These threats increase the demand for cybersecurity professionals, for example, there are now many online PhD programs in cybersecurity. A graduate of such programs can be a great addition to your team.
Email continues to be a main target for cybercriminals
Email has been the number one target for cybercriminals since the dawn of the internet. Unfortunately, email is a convenient and quick way for hackers and scammers to communicate with potential victims. Email is easy to set up and can be used anonymously with just a username. Email is also a main target because it usually contains sensitive information such as passwords, phone numbers, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. Email is also very easy to spoof and is often sent to millions of people at a time. To make matters worse, most of us have become too accustomed to ignoring the “delete” button when we receive emails we don’t want or need. In most cases, it is better to delete or ignore emails than to try to respond to them. Unfortunately, ignoring emails is a common mistake that leaves many people at risk of being hacked. When you receive an email, read the entire email carefully before you delete it. Look for red flags, such as poor grammar, misspellings, or incorrect details. Pay close attention to emails that ask for personal information, such as account numbers and passwords.
Employees are still the weakest link in the chain
When conducting research for this article, one thing we noticed was that employees and HR staff continue to be the weakest link in the chain. The majority of cyberattacks take place on the employer’s side. Most of the time, this occurs when employees are transferring data from one network to another. In many cases, employees are careless and show poor judgement when it comes to protecting sensitive information. As the employer, it is your job to make sure that your staff members understand how to protect sensitive data and how to keep their computer protected. Make sure that your employees are aware of the following tips:
- Use a secure browser like Chrome or Firefox with an ad blocker to protect against harmful websites
- Install ad blocking software on their computer
- Ensure that their operating system is up to date
- Turn on 2-step verification (2SV) for sensitive accounts such as email or banking
- Avoid clicking on unknown links or downloading files from websites they’re not familiar with
- Avoid clicking on suspicious pop-up ads
- Use different passwords for different accounts
Online databases and cloud storage are big targets for cybercriminals
Online databases and cloud storage are becoming increasingly popular. As the amount of data being stored online continues to grow, so too does the amount of weak security and potential cyberthreats. Any online database that does not have strict security measures in place is likely to be a target. Many online databases also make it easy for people to access the information without logging in. This makes it incredibly easy for cybercriminals to access the information and potentially use it for malicious purposes. Cloud storage is another popular target. This is because most cloud storage companies do not require users to verify their identity before signing up for an account. For this reason, it is relatively easy for cybercriminals to create new accounts under fake names and log in to access sensitive information. With the rise of cyberattacks, the best defense against these attacks is to choose a more secure service.
Services such as Dropbox and Google Drive continue to be popular targets for hackers
The number of attacks against online service providers is increasing, and the attacks are often successful. The most popular online service providers are frequently targeted by hackers. Protecting your data against cybercriminals is difficult, even when you take all the right precautions. To protect your sensitive information against cybercriminals, it’s important to understand the security features offered by your service provider. It’s also important to know how to use those features correctly to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. If you use a service such as Dropbox or Google Drive, it’s important to know that hackers can easily access your files. These services are a common target for cybercriminals because they are designed to be accessible anywhere. Hackers often gain access to these services by tricking or deceiving users into giving up their login information. To protect your sensitive data against cybercriminals, it’s important to know the security features offered by your service provider. It’s also important to know how to use those features correctly to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.
Smart TVs and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices remain unprotected by default
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at an exponential rate. In fact, the number of connected devices is expected to exceed 40 billion by 2022. Unfortunately, IoT devices are rarely secure. Many of these devices may have proper security implemented during the development stage. However, there is no guarantee that every single one of these devices will remain secure over time. In fact, most IoT devices are factory-default devices with no security. You can typically find this information in the user manual, or on the product website. These IoT devices are often easy to hack and allow cybercriminals to take control of the device remotely. Once a cybercriminal has control of the device, they can do anything with it, including accessing your personal information. To protect yourself against cybercriminals who use IoT devices to access your information, it’s important to change the default username and password. It’s also important to keep your devices updated with the latest software and firmware.
The rise of ransomware has prompted many companies to become reluctant to pay up.
Ransomware is a malicious software program that locks you out of your computer or network until you pay a ransom. Ransomware has infected government agencies, businesses, and homes across the world. While ransomware attacks have been increasing over the past few years, they have recently surged in popularity. According to the FBI, ransomware attacks increased by approximately 150% in the first three months of the year. This rise in popularity is likely due to the fact that ransomware attacks are profitable. In fact, the same group of cybercriminals behind the WannaCry ransomware attacks has made $25 million in the past year. As cyberattacks continue to increase, there is no sign that businesses will become less reluctant to pay up.