There are many steps that businesses and individuals can take to secure their data from being accessed by unauthorized people.
These methods lower the risks of being a victim and the worst consequences should a hack be successful. But we first need to get past our desire for convenience at any cost. We need to eliminate the ambivalence that has us opening doors to cyber victimization.
By having a better understanding of the digital environment everybody can protect themselves from a plethora of personal and business cyber threats. This awareness includes understanding them as we are all exposed at one point or another in our life.
Although there are numerous sources of threats for each of us, some common threats include accessing public Wi-Fi, shoulder surfing, malware attacks, email spams, and phishing scams. If we are aware of the tactics we can reduce personal risk.
Often, people are not aware of the dangers of accessing public Wi-Fi. Not all public Wi-Fi are genuine and could turn out to be fake access points created by hackers. This is why free access at a majority of public Wi-Fi spots are not considered safe connections.
Just by simply logging in to one of these Wi-Fi hotspots may make personal information visible as the connection is accessed by the hacker. Crucial forms of data such as messages, details of accounts, and other specifics could be leaked to the hacker paving way for crimes and maleficence.
The second most common threat to data security is referred to as shoulder surfing. It occurs when a criminal gains information by peeking at our devices and picking upon our keyboard patterns. This form of data theft is perhaps the most overlooked and its implications could be extremely disastrous for the individual.
This is the case because bank accounts, credit card numbers, personal IDs, and other significant passwords or encryption could be figured out by the hacker with considerable ease. Hence, individuals must be awareness of this particular form of theft and try to be vigilant of such culprits.
Just because a technique is “old skool” doesn’t mean it is not effective. Individuals need to be extra careful and aware of their surroundings whenever they have to access their personal data. They need to know the intentions of the other person and share private information only with the other individuals they can trust.
Another method of stealing digital information is by utilizing malware. Malware, or its full term that most people are not aware of – Malicious Software, is an extremely invasive form of software directed toward one singular purpose, gaining personal data. This software or technique of invasion used by cyber-criminals is somewhat similar to shoulder surfing. The only difference is digital, less detectable and more dangerous. Malware does not require the hacker or cyber-criminal to be present. All they need do is send this software to their victim’s system.
Keyloggers are a form of malware. Keyloggers record each and every keyboard movement. This dangerous software can be sent through a number of ways, which include viruses, rootkits, worms, and Trojan horses. Most of these tactics are untraceable for everyday users, thereby increasing the susceptibility of data theft and other forms of maleficence. This is why people need to have prior knowledge of these spyware in order to keep their personal information and databases secure from fraudulent activities.
Apart from malware, email spam can also be classified as a viable threat to data security. While on the surface they seem like harmless messages piling up in the junk folder of our emails, each message potentially carries hazardous malware. These harmful or intrusive spyware can be installed on our computer systems simply by clicking on the links given in the emails. This, in turn, leads to the possible threat of data and misuse of personal information.
As a result, individuals need to be wary of email spam and delete these such messages as soon as they receive them. Even if individuals do not open these malicious links, they should never let these emails remain in their folders for extended periods. These emails need to be erased so that any possible threats could be averted.
Although there is no guaranteed technique of combating cybercriminals and spyware, one effective approach is treating them in the same manner as companies or institutions do. Organizations and modern institution alike use a calculated methodology whenever they are faced with the threat of data theft or hacks of any sort. These companies do not only set up updated software to combat malware and phishing scams, but they also contemplate the actual consequences of data theft. They formulate strategies that prevent any major disaster even if the malware has somehow penetrated their system.