Myth #2: I don’t work in IT so cyber security does not apply to me. Cyber security is an issue for the IT department.
Fact: The risk of a cyber-attack is no longer just a technical problem.
One common mistake that many individuals make is that they believe that the information that they process on a daily basis is not valuable or worth stealing. Why would someone risk a potential fine and possibly even a prison sentence to steal the information held on your laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone? Surely you cannot be a target for cybercrime if you do not have anything worth stealing?
Nothing could be further from the truth. If you own a mobile device, computer, email address, credit card, online shopping account, social media account such as Twitter or Facebook, then you are the perfect target for cyber criminals.
Long gone are the days when criminals had to cover their face to rob a bank or building society to earn a day’s salary. Today, the increased usage of the internet and online technology, as well as the growth of the “selfie” generation, has literally changed the face of crime. A criminal’s aim has always remained the same: make money fast, at the lowest risk possible and make sure it is as easy as possible. So what has changed since the Bonnie and Clyde days?
The internet provides any criminal with a global market. It is much cheaper for cyber criminals to use software to carry out attacks rather than starting their own personal criminal gang. This software can aid any criminal with their “dirty work” just with a click of a button.
Criminals can appear to be technology masterminds who are using the most advanced technology to break into your system. In reality, they are using very simple methods such as spam emails and malware. They do not need to use masks anymore. If you are sitting at your computer desk, would you spot if your computer had been infected? You won’t get any tell-tale signs of infection (no red spots or rash will appear) and this is what cyber-criminals love the most. If your computer is compromised, a cyber criminal can stay for as long as they wish, undetected and no need for a mask to disguise their identity. This means that a cyber criminal can successfully carry out a number of heists before you may even realise that your computer has been compromised. Malware installed on your computer can provide a criminal with your keystrokes, thus allowing them access to your online accounts, your passwords and even your bank details.
How can I protect myself and my company from cybercrime?
It is important to always ensure that you protect yourself and your devices from cybercrime. It is always best to be proactive against cyber attacks rather than reactive. Below are some top tips that should help you keep you and your devices up to date both at home and at work:
Keeping up to date
You are the "human firewall” against cybercrime and in most cases, you are the first line of defence against cyber criminals. The world of cybercrime is consistently changing and evolving and so it is up to you to ensure that you always have the most up-to-date information and knowledge of information security. It is not only yourself that you should keep up to date but any software, application or plug-in updates should be applied immediately to safeguard your computer and mobile devices against the most up to date scams or attacks from cyber-criminals.
Use different usernames
It may seem difficult to keep up-to-date with all your on-line account names however, this may be a guaranteed way to protect your separate accounts. If one of your accounts were to be attacked, your other accounts should be safe as they would not be unlocked by the same username.
Passwords are the keys to your accounts. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you keep them strong and secure. Try to refrain from using the same password for different accounts, especially the password for your email account. Your email account is often used to reset forgotten passwords for other accounts - this is not the password that you wish an attacker to find.
Be careful with free Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi available in cafes, bars or restaurants. The administrator of this network may not be who you think they are and may be using this information to gather information from your device. Check out yesterday’s Myth for more information!
The important thing to realise is that you should always trust your instincts and if something does not feel right, just remember: if in doubt, always get it checked out.
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