The number of cybercrime occurrences is indeed increasing each day and becoming more and more complex. But what exactly is cybercrime? What is it that exactly constitutes such a significant (and extremely thriving) industry? In the broadest sense, cybercrime is any type of illegal activity that involves the internet. A few types of cybercrime could be listed as identity theft and information misuse, data and intellectual property theft, human trafficking, child pornography, and terrorism.
A greater portion of these crimes is committed using numerous cybersecurity attack tactics such as phishing, CEO fraud, man-in-the-middle (MitM), hacking, SQL injections, DDoS, and malware attacks. Historically, these crimes were committed by ‘lone wolves.’ But now, as we reside in the 21st century or the ‘modern era’ as we call it, cybercrime has turned into a booming industry encompassing criminal enterprises, organized hacker syndicates, hacktivists, and nation-state actors.
The elephantine task of possessing the knowledge as to how cybercrime can be prevented often comes down to nullifying cybersecurity threats and figuring out how to prevent cyber attacks. However, with hackers’ ever-evolving tactics, a rising number of factors, and rapidly advancing technologies make it extremely challenging to stay a step ahead of cybercriminals. Besides, there is no 1 particular hard and fast method of 100% cybercrime prevention — understanding how to prevent cybercrime is about bringing together an effective combination of technologies, best practices, and procedures to craft the solution that is best for you. A few methods are listed below as follows:
- Using Strong Passwords: Strong passwords are utterly necessary as they prevent unauthorized access to your electronic accounts and devices. The more complex your password is, the more secure you are on the cyberspace.
- Keeping One’s social media accounts private: Avoid keeping social media handles public and easily visible to third-parties. Check and update your security settings from time to time.
- Securing One’s Mobile Devices: Many people are unaware of the fact that their mobile devices are also vulnerable to malicious software, such as computer viruses and hackers. Download applications only from trusted sources. Keep your operating system up-to-date. Run regular virus scans. Install anti-virus software and ensure that you have a secure lock screen. Otherwise, it is a piece of cake for anyone to gain access to all your personal information on your phone if you misplace it or even set it down for a few seconds. Malicious software that is capable of tracking your every movement through your GPS can be installed if one is not alert enough.
- Protecting one’s data: Protect your data by using encryption for sensitive files such as financial records and tax returns.
- Protecting one’s identity online: When it comes to protecting your identity online it is better to be cautious rather than being impetuous. You must be alert when giving out personal ID such as name, address, phone number, and/or financial information on the Internet. Be certain to assure that websites are secure when you are making online purchases, etc. This includes enabling your privacy settings when you are accessing social networking sites.
- Keeping one’s computer current with the latest patches and updates: One of the best ways to keep attackers away from your computer is to update and install software fixes whenever they are available. By regularly updating your computer, one prevents attackers from taking advantage of software flaws (vulnerabilities) that could otherwise be used to hack into your system.
- Protecting one’s computer with security software: Several types of security software are necessary for basic online security as they are inclusive of firewalls and antivirus programs. It controls the factors that can communicate with your computer online.
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