Cybercrime. Breaches. Identity theft. These are all growing concerns for consumers everywhere. Although the internet is a great place to be most of the time, there’s always something dangerous bubbling up from the depths of the internet’s dark side. Whether you use a mobile device, a desktop computer, or a wearable item like a smartwatch, you’re constantly at risk of becoming the victim of hacking, identity theft, or malware. Today’s consumers must be savvy and aware of modern threats. And in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest threats facing consumers this year.
Malware is a consistent problem for everyone from small businesses to large enterprises. It’s also a big issue for people just like you. New malware emerges every day and it has one goal: to infect vulnerable systems. Malware disrupts computer operation, gathers sensitive information/data, and can even hijack (or just gain access) your computer. And it gets there by downloading it through an email attachment, clicking a dangerous link, or receiving a download surreptitiously from a dangerous website.
Last year, around 5.5 billion malware attacks impacted people worldwide. And you know it’s only going to get worse. Everyday, malware attacks grow more sophisticated and unique. Hackers are always finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and make their way into software and hardware systems. There are some precautions you can take to help. One way to fight back is to keep your systems and programs up to date. You should also use an anti-malware program to help battle this insidious threat.
Just as the sun rises and sets each day, there’s probably someone out there dealing with a data breach. Whether it’s large retailers like Target, important places like hospitals, universities, or large telecom businesses (like T-Mobile, for instance), data breaches are on the rise. As consumers become more aware of this threat to their personal information and privacy, better protection from companies that hold their data is necessary. There are a few ways to safeguard your data, however. Don’t overshare. Protect data like financial credentials and social security numbers.
Use software that can protect your system from malware or spyware that could steal your data. Data breaches can be caused by human error, malicious intent, software bugs, or other technical problems, or hackers attempting to steal valuable information such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers. Remember to always be vigilant, monitor your accounts, check your credit, and be incredibly mindful of what you choose to share online.
A worm is a program that can spread from computer to computer over the internet, without requiring user interaction. Worms often do this by exploiting security vulnerabilities in operating systems or applications. Worms typically spread quickly because they’re designed to be highly contagious. Worms are so bad, they can easily infect multiple machines at once without requiring any user action beyond just having an internet connection.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself by keeping software updated, updating firmware, performing regular security scans, and using powerful antivirus software, like one the TrendMicro premium security suite.
Identity theft is a fast growing—and potentially devastating—cybercrime. Millions of people are affected by identity theft and compromise every year. Stolen identity information is usually used to create new accounts, make high purchases, or even just steal money. This doesn’t just result in financial loss, it can ruin credit and somebody’s life. You can protect yourself from this in a few different ways. To begin with, never give out personal information over the phone or email.
This is a common way for scammers to try to convince you to provide sensitive data that they can steal. Ask questions and don’t give them the information freely. Shred mail with sensitive data on it. Always check your accounts to ensure nobody is tampering with them. And be very careful about safeguarding your personal day. Remember that there’s always somebody out there looking to steal information, so don’t let yourself be a victim.
Phishing is one of the most common tactics cyber criminals use to steal personal data. And it is surprisingly effective. People fall victim to phishing scams everyday and likely will continue to do so for a long time to come. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent it. It starts with understanding what phishing actually is in the first place.
Phishing is a form of online fraud where scammers send emails designed to look like they come from legitimate organizations, such as banks and government agencies. They try to get you to give up your personal information by tricking you into thinking the email is from someone you know or trust. Scammers usually send an email that looks like it’s coming from a service provider, such as your bank or credit card company (stuff like “your account has been suspended” and similar scare tactics).
The email asks you for personal information like passwords or social security numbers so they can confirm who you are before reactivating your account. When you respond to information like this, thieves can access your data nearly instantaneously. Cybercrime is a growing concern for consumers everywhere. But with these tips, you should be able to keep yourself safe in the face of the growing threat.