Cybercrimes: Tips for Protecting Yourself
By Jonathon Bishop, Security Analyst
Cybercrimes have exploded in recent years, with perpetrators coming from nearly anywhere in the world. No one is safe. Not individuals. Not large institutions. It will, therefore, be a shared effort on all levels to keep our systems and information safe.
Cyber security holds a wide range of challenges, from prevention to recovery.
One of the biggest challenges remains raising awareness about why most cyber-attacks are successful: human error. The most common mistakes involve opening an infected attachment or clicking on a malicious URL. But other missteps can lead to serious problems as well. Those include failing to patch uncovered security flaws; using default or easy-to-guess user names and passwords; losing a laptop or mobile device that contains sensitive information; and inadvertently disclosing sensitive information thanks to the use of an incorrect email address.
Phishing and social engineering attacks are some of the oldest ways to gain information and remain the most effective to this day. Phishing is carried out by email spoofing, instant messaging or text messaging to gain sensitive information and use it for malicious reasons. This can be an email that looks to be a trusted sender with an infected attachment or a link that appears to go to a trusted website. The attachment can lead to your computer being infected and allowing outside access to all files and sensitive information, while links will generally lead you to a fake website to steal your user name and password.
Emails that ask for login or personal information almost invariably are illicit. The obvious exception is when you are trying to retrieve a forgotten password or other login information from a website. But otherwise, if you aren’t expecting an email, a good best practice is to go directly to the website by typing it into the address bar, versus clicking a link. Once logged in, whatever information that is being requested should also appear under your account. A wrong click can be devastating and costly so when in doubt throw it out.
Please email Jonathon Bishop if you have any questions at