Don’t get bugged!

By: Adelle Fernandes

Cyber security experts predict that in 2021, there will be a cyber-attack every 11 seconds. This is almost twice the amount as seen in 2019 (every 19 seconds) and five times of what it was in 2016 (every 40 seconds).  It is expected that cybercrime will cost the global economy $6.1 trillion annually.

What is a cyber-attack?

A cyber-attack is an attack launched from one or more computers against another computer. It is an attempt to steal, destroy, steal, manipulate or expose data by hacking into a susceptible system. It can disable your computer and also use a breached computer as a launch for other attacks. The goal of a cyber-attack can be to disable your device or get access to your data.

Cybercrime and the pandemic

Several countries have reported a rise in cybercrime during the pandemic. The U.N. disarmament chief said that although the COVID-19 pandemic is moving the world toward technological innovation and online collaboration, “cybercrime is also on the rise, with a 600% increase in malicious emails during the current crisis.” With majority of organizations working from home during the pandemic, its employees have become the target for exploitation. This is mainly because the humble home router does not support all the security needs of an individual.

The solution to the problem

Use strong passwords

It is common for people to re-use their passwords for multiple sites and devices and this puts them at risk of being victim to cybercrimes. It is imperative for individuals to refrain from doing this also change their passwords on a regular basis. It is advisable to make your passwords complex in nature and use a combination of at least 10 letters, numbers, and symbols.

Update your software

This is especially important with your operating systems and internet security software. Cybercriminals often use known exploits, or flaws, in your software to gain access to your system. Patching those exploits and flaws can make it less for a cybercriminal to get into your system.

Invest in anti-virus software

Anti-virus software will allow you to scan, detect and remove threats before they cause any harm. This will help protect your computer and data from cyber-attacks. If you use anti-virus software, confirm it is updated to avail of its best features and ensure maximum safety.

Manage social media settings

It is important to keep your personal and private information locked down. Social engineering cybercriminals often gain access to personal information with just a few data points. So, the less personal information you share publicly, the better. Details like your pet’s name, if revealed on social media can give cybercriminals a possible answer to your security question.

Beware of spam emails

It is important to never open attachments or click on links sent by an email ID you don’t recognize. This is one of the most common ways of hacking used by cybercriminals.

Strengthen your home network

Home networks must have a strong encryption password as well as a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. This will ensure that even if cybercriminals manage to hack your communication line, they will only be able to retrieve encrypted data. It is essential to use a VPN especially when you use a public Wi-Fi network; at a café, airport or library.

Although technology is a bane, it can be misused and cause serious harm. One must take all the precautions necessary to ensure maximum protection against cybercrimes.

Resources:

https://theprint.in/tech/in-2021-there-will-be-a-cyberattack-every-11-seconds-heres-how-to-protect-yourself/565616/

https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-how-to-recognize-and-protect-yourself-from-cybercrime.html

Picture Sources:

1. Security Magazine

2. Kaspersky

Adelle Fernandes

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