If you are online, protecting yourself from cybercrime should be your priority to avoid being a victim of online scams or cyberattacks. It is a matter of time before cybercriminals come for your data and the best thing one can do is learn about cybersecurity, and how cybercriminals think and perform cybercrime.
While protecting your data is a must, the issue of misconfigured databases has become a major threat to users’ data and personal information. In 2020, researchers identified over 10,000 unsecured databases that exposed more than ten billion (10,463,315,645) records to public access without any security authentication. This is why database forensics is vital.
7 Ways to save yourself against cybercrime
To protect yourself on the Internet you do not need to have a lot of computer knowledge; Just follow a few simple rules. This way you can protect yourself from the most frequent cybercrimes.
#1. Check the Padlock and don’t reveal the passwords
Phishing is the best-known form of an online scam. Through an email, criminals impersonate a bank or a service such as Amazon or PayPal. These emails include a link that they ask to click that redirects the user to a fake website that, in appearance, is similar to that of the bank or the services mentioned.
From the form on this website, crooks obtain access codes and other personal data with which to steal the victim’s bank account. A good way to verify if you are on the legitimate page and not a fraudulent one is to look at the left area of the navigation bar, where the website address is written, and see if a padlock appears that serves to verify the authenticity of the place.
Neither banks nor streaming or shopping services, such as Amazon or AliExpress, request confidential information either by email or in phone calls. Therefore, if you receive an email, SMS, or call asking for your personal data and passwords, do not answer. Also be wary if it has spelling mistakes, and has poorly conjugated verbs.
#2. Beware of discounts and Giveaways
In most cases, the criminal business base is on fraudulent websites that offer products at low prices. They email potential victims claiming that they have won an iPad, a free Netflix subscription, or a collaboration with a known brand because you are an influencer or a girlfriend who asks for money to buy tickets to travel and see you.
Moreover, since cryptocurrency is a treasure trove these days; cybercriminals often compromise popular and verified social media accounts of celebrities to run free Bitcoin giveaway scams, whilst simultaneously attempting to steal victims’ funds and personal and financial information.
#3. Beware of public networks and protect the mobile
A public Wi-Fi network can be a nightmare for your online security and privacy. However, if there’s no other way, make sure you have a VPN on while you are connected to a public WI-Fi network as it will encrypt your network traffic.
What threats could be expected while using public WiFi?
Well, unsafe surfing is likely to attract a number of online threats to your security and privacy. Let us see some of them:
- Evil Twin/WiFi Phishing: Justifying its name, in Evil twin the access routes creates a cloned network with the same network name. Evil Twin works in the same way as the normal phishing threat does when the user enters into the wrong access route, evil twin starts stealing system’s data or attacks in any other way.
- New war drivers: Wardrivers are those who try to hack networks illegally, especially on an open network like a public free WiFi network. These war drivers could be anyone like hackers, professional criminals, or even the employees or competitors of a particular business.
- Malware: One of the ancient types of online threats is malware also influences wireless networks. Viruses enter into the wireless network, send requests, and connect to the local area networks to make a way to the nearest wireless networks and corrupt the network system coming in its way.
- Data eavesdropping: This is a very common Internet threat. With lots of interceptable signals and data sharing techniques, eavesdropping also prevails in public WiFi networks.
Use a Password Manager
It is of vital importance that you create unique strong passwords for each of your different accounts. If you use the same basic password for each account, you are putting your data at risk. Create a strong password that nobody will be able to figure out. It should be at least eight characters long, with a variety of numbers and letters, both upper and lower case.
However, keeping track of a long list of complicated passwords isn’t an easy task, which is why you should use a reliable password manager. These platforms will encrypt all of your passwords, and store each one in a highly secure vault. You will be able to access the password manager online, so even if you are working from a remote location, you will be able to access the platform wherever you are in the world.
Secure Your Mobile Device
A lot of folks are unaware that hackers often aim to gain access to their victims’ mobile devices. We are all well aware that cybercriminals successfully hack into computers, but many of us tend to forget about protecting our smartphones and tablets.
Whether you are using your mobile device for business, or for personal use, it must be secured. Most people store images, videos, contacts, bank information, etc. on their mobile phones or tablet. To avoid these files from being stolen or lost, you should run a VPN, invest in an antivirus package, plus, an anti-malware application.
Make Back-ups of all of your Data
You should make physical and virtual copies of all of your data just in case it becomes compromised. Don’t rely on one single device to store all of your data. If the device breaks down or gets attacked, how would one retrieve the data?
Failing to backup your data can be disastrous, and although cybercriminal activity has been well documented, people are still reluctant to make copies of their data. Consider saving data to an external device, like a flash drive.
However, you will want to be extra careful if you decide to connect the drive to another computer. If there is a virus on the computer, you could end up losing all of the files and folders stored on it. Run an antivirus scan before connecting the storage, and make sure there is no malware on the computer.