Best Practices for Protecting Yourself Against Cyber Crimes

security best practices

Threats come from many sources, which is why some of you carry insurance, hire lawyers, and work hard to keep your business strong so that you can support yourself and your family.

So as the world becomes ever more dependent and accustomed to technology and the internet, you may want to take time to protect yourself against cyber crimes

Here, Umair Khokhar, a Software Developer and CTO at HubBase, shares with us what you can do to be better protected from the unfortunate reality of the many cyber crimes that plague people worldwide. 

You may have been victimized already, or know someone who has, since cyber crime affects roughly one in every four Americans

Cyber crimes are on the rise

Cyber crime in general have increased over the years. As access to the internet has increased worldwide, so has cyber crime.

“Cyber crimes are on the rise and are projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021,” Umair says. The COVID pandemic has only made things worse. Unfortunately, cyber crime is predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, and $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

An FBI investigation found that prior to the novel coronavirus, there were about 1,000 cases reported cyber crimes a day. But after the pandemic, that number has jumped to between 3,000 and 4,000 cases per day.

But the bright side is that, as Umair explains, "there are quite a few things one can do to protect their personal and financial information.”

Be aware of phishing

“Phishing is a method that hackers use to send you malicious links or viruses in an email,” Umair says. They can also show up in the form of a text message, or through instant messaging services.

“They try to make it look legitimate by impersonating a legitimate person or institution,” Umair warns.

It’s become a well-known joke nowadays that the Nigerian prince personally wrote you an email, asking for help, or to tell you he’s going to transfer you a large sum of money...he just needs your bank account information first! According to CNBC, this scam still generates more than $700,000 per year.

While it’s pretty easy to spot these early phishing attempts, modern-day phishing has become much more advanced and tricky. Therefore, it’s easy to fall victim to these scams. 

Here’s what Umair recommends in order to protect yourself against phishing:

  1. Don't click on any link or download any file from an email that is sent from an untrusted source.
  2. Always check the email address of the sender, don't rely on the name of the sender in order to establish email authenticity. This will protect against CEO fraud.
  3. Never share your personal or financial information or credentials with anyone unless you trust the party receiving the information.

Protecting Wireless Networks

It is easier to hack a wireless network than you think. “Once a hacker is in your network, they can exploit vulnerabilities and can even use your network to launch attacks,” Umair says.  

Here is how you can protect your wireless networks:

  1. Use the latest encryption techniques such as WPA-3 technology. You can contact your internet service provider to enable that on your connection.
  2. Don't use a wifi password that is easy to crack.
  3. Make sure to change default router credentials and pass phrases. “One of the common mistakes made by home users,” Umair says. 
  4. Don't share your wifi password with everyone.
  5. Regularly change your wifi password, about once a month.

How to protect your accounts

Hackers use several techniques to hack your account information. According to Umair, “the most common methods used are phishing and social engineering. In social engineering, hackers impersonate themselves and trick you into sharing your account information and passwords with you.”

What’s one of the best ways to protect your accounts?

Never share your account passwords with anyone. 

Umair’s advice for account protection:

  1. Make sure to use strong passwords for your account, don't settle on something that is easily guessable.
  2. If you really need to share your password with someone, use services like Dashlane or 1Pass for the purpose. Never share raw passwords.
  3. Regularly update your passwords.  
  4. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA).

Regarding the importance of changing your passwords frequently, password trafficking is a thing, and could potentially be used on a range of account types. 

Educate your entire family

Share this information with your kids, spouses, and coworkers. As a huge part of the world studies and works from home, this advice is essential knowledge for everyone to learn and put into practice. 

According to the digital security company, Norton, these are the top five cyber crimes in the U.S.:

  • Malware (when a virus or a security threat infiltrates a device)
  • Debit or credit card fraud 
  • Data breaches 
  • Compromised passwords 
  • Unauthorized email and social media access

To highlight the importance of taking steps to protect yourself against cyber crimes, check out the top 10 cyber crimes and data breaches, which affected hundreds of thousands, even up into the millions, of victims.

You can also read the FBI’s cyber crime incidents and reports to learn about real cyber crimes and how to avoid different kinds.

How could cyber crimes affect your business?

Do you think your business could be affected by cyber crime? Have you thought about the ways in which you may be vulnerable?

Consider the different ways you might become victim to a cyber crime. While we certainly hope it never happens, taking preventative steps, educating yourself, and implementing expert security advice can reduce your risk.

Admin

Hi there! This post exists to offer you (hopefully) useful information but it cannot take the place of personalized professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert if you have questions about your business. Also, Azlo doesn’t endorse any third-party sites that are linked here.

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