Cybercrime is an ever-present danger. You may believe that the only type of cybercrime you need to be concerned about is hackers taking your financial data. However, it may not be so straightforward. Cybercrime is always changing, with new dangers emerging every year.
When you hear and read about the various types of cybercrime that exist, you might start having second thoughts and get hesitant about transacting online.
Instead, learning how to spot cybercrime is a smart starting step toward better protecting yourself and your data. Taking some simple safeguards and knowing who to call if you witness others engaging in criminal activity online are also crucial.
Cybercrime is defined as any criminal conduct that involves the use of a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. Most cybercrime is done by profit-driven cybercriminals or hackers. It’s not just individuals, but even organised groups that commit cybercrime.
Some cybercriminals are well-organized, employ advanced strategies, and possess a high level of technical expertise. Others are newcomers to hacking. Cybercrime is rarely used to harm computers for motives other than profit. These could be either political or personal.
How to protect yourself against cybercrime
Anyone who uses the internet should take a few measures. Here are some suggestions for defending yourself against the many types of cybercrime.
- Use a full-service internet security suite
Providing real-time protection against existing and emerging malware, such as ransomware, viruses and assisting in the protection of your personal and financial information when using the internet.
- Use strong passwords or Password Manager
Most people overlook this, although it is one of the most critical components of protecting yourself and your work against infection. Don’t use the same password on many sites and change your passwords frequently. Make them more complicated. This necessitates the use of at least ten letters, numbers, and symbols.
You can make this task easier by using a dedicated password manager tool. Consider investing in getting a password manager like LastPass, Dash Lane, Bit warden, or Tire Key by Intel Security.
- Keep your software updated
This is particularly crucial when it comes to your operating system and internet security software. To obtain access to your system, cybercriminals usually employ known exploits, or holes, in your software. By patching such exploits and holes, you can reduce your chances of becoming a cybercrime target.
- Manage your social media settings
Keep your personal and confidential information secure. With just a few data points, social engineering fraudsters may typically obtain your personal information, thus the less you give publicly, the better. If you publish your pet’s name or your mother’s maiden name, for example, you risk revealing the answers to two typical security questions.
- Strengthen your home network
Starting with a strong encryption password and a virtual private network is a smart idea. All traffic leaving your devices is encrypted until it reaches its destination, thanks to a VPN. If fraudsters manage to gain access to your internet connection, they will only be able to read encrypted data.
- Talk to your children about the internet
You’ll want to discuss the internet with your children, and you’ll also want to assist them in avoiding identity theft. Children are commonly targeted by identity thieves because their Social Security numbers and credit histories are generally blank slates. When it comes to sharing your child’s personal information, you may help prevent identity theft by being cautious. Stay involved in their activities online.
Guide your children and make sure they understand that they can be saved from cybercrime if they confide in you. Make them feel comfortable coming to you if they are being harassed, stalked, or bullied online. Be supportive instead of getting upset, if not at them, then at the situation.
- Keep up to date on major security breaches
Find out what information the hackers accessed and change your password immediately if you do business with a merchant or have an account on a website that has been touched by a security breach.
On an individual level, you can check if your passwords or accounts have been compromised in data breaches using data breach checker websites. You can also use your Browser’s inbuilt password checker if you save your passwords locally.
- Take measures to help protect yourself against identity theft
Identity theft happens when someone illegally gets your personal information through deception or fraud, usually for financial benefit.
A VPN, or virtual private network, helps protect the data you send and receive over the internet, especially when using public Wi-Fi.