With the technological boom, cybercrimes are ever increasing. This is a continuous threat for individuals, businesses- large or small, and government entities. Many people believe that cybercrimes are used to steal financial information only. However, there are far more serious consequences of cybercrime than just jeopardizing your sensitive financial information. With the changing nature of cyber crimes, the relevant criminal laws have been evolving accordingly. Judges and criminal lawyers also tend to find new and effective ways to deal with such cases.
According to the results shown in Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 43% of businesses remained the victim of cyber security breaches during the last 12 months; only the state of California faced losses more than $214million. So, internet users are widely using VPN (virtual private networks) to protect their privacy online. The stats sound scary- they really are- but there are ways through which you can protect yourself and your family.
You may feel tempted to stop using your internet when you hear news about cybercrimes. This will not help you protect form the cybercrime. Instead of identifying and knowing what to do in these cases is the very step towards protecting yourself against these criminal activities.
Cybercrimes are referred to as a crime that occurs online. Cybercriminals target computers, devices, and networks. These criminal activities range from security breaches, cyber-stalking, bullying, child pornography and harassment to identity theft.
Protect Yourself From Cybercrimes:
While using the internet, there must be some precautions to observe. Whether you are using private network or public, make sure you protect yourself from these criminals:
Following are a few effective ways that many of us don’t follow and compromise on our online security:
1. Consider using a Full-Service Internet Security Suite:
There are many internet security software that helps you protect your computer from such malicious activities. You can find many of these software online such as Avast, Norton Security or any other effective security system. This software protects you against existing and future threats such as viruses and ransomware while keeping your financial information secure online.
2. Always Use Strong Passwords:
It is best not to repeat your passwords on different websites. Moreover, ensure changing your passwords regularly. While setting passwords, pick a complex combination of words, numbers, and symbols. You can take help from password management application to keep your passwords locked down and secured.
3. Regularly Update Your Software:
Regular software and system updates are essential. Cybercriminals actively seek and exploit systems that are outdated and have flaws in their software. These criminals gain access to your system and then use it for criminal activities. When you regular y update your software, those flaws are fixed and your system becomes less likely to be attacked and used by cybercriminals.
4. Regularly Check Your Social Media Settings:
Social media can also be a source of compromising your online security. For this matter, you must check your personal and private information secured. Cybercriminals through social engineering often gain access to your information. The less you share information online, the more you are secured. An excellent example is that if you share your mother’s maiden name or your pets’ name on social networks, chances are higher that you are revealing the answers to the two most common security questions.
5. Ensure Your Home Network is Strengthened:
It is highly recommended to protect your home network with a strong encryption password and virtual private network known as VPN. VPN encrypts all traffic excluding your devices until it reaches its destination. In case the cybercriminals gain access to your devices, they will not be able to intercept anything but only the encrypted data. So, use a VPN whenever you are using a public Wi-Fi network such as café, hotel, airport or library.
6. Educate Your Children about the Internet:
Kids are the most vulnerable subjects to cybercrimes. Parents must educate their children about the usage of the internet. They should tell their kids about how to protect themselves online and what may happen if they don’t. You should also keep the communication channel open with your kids so they know they can come to you if any suspicious activity arises such as stalking, online harassment, or bullying.
7. Stay up to date on Security Breach:
In case your merchant’s website has experienced a security breach, you must find out what information is compromised. Moreover, make sure you change the passwords with strong alternatives immediately.
8. Protect Yourself Against Identify Theft:
Identity theft is one of the common cybercrimes. This occurs when the criminals obtain your personal data in such a way that it involves fraud to gain economic benefits. When you are tricked to give your personal information online through certain web links or, a cybercriminal gains access to your account information, you become the target identity theft. This is the main reason why you must use a VPN (virtual private network) to protect your personal data that you send and receive online particularly using public Wi-Fi.
9. Identity Theft can Occur No Matter Where You Are:
Knowing how to protect your system against cybercriminals is essential especially when you are traveling. Cybercriminals are everywhere- no matter where you are, make sure you are keeping your travel plans secret and don’t share it on social media. Moreover, when you are using the hotel’s internet, ensure that you use a VPN and protect your system from malicious attacks.
10. Don’t Let Kids Use the Internet without Your Supervision:
Just like you will want to protect your personal information on the internet, make sure your kids are also protected against identity theft. As I have mentioned above that children are highly vulnerable to cyber crimes, identity thieves target kids most often because their credit histories and Social Security number are clean. Don’t let your kids’ share their personal information on the internet as well as you must be careful in when it becomes necessary to share their details on the internet.
11. Know What to Do When You are Attacked:
When you suspect that your system has been compromised, immediately report to the police about initial activities in your system. Regardless of the intensity and nature of the criminal activity, the reporting of the issue will help the authorities in investigations and in preventing future criminal activities.
This way you are no to protect only yourself, but also protecting other people by taking action and letting them know what is going on how can they protect themselves.