THE GROWING THREAT OF CYBERCRIME
A crime in which a computer is the object of the crime or is utilized as a tool to accomplish an infraction is called cybercrime. A cybercriminal can utilize a device to get access to a user’s personal information, private corporate information, or government information, or to deactivate it. Selling or obtaining the aforesaid information via the internet is likewise a criminal offence.
Cybercrime is a major problem that is becoming more prevalent. Criminals are finding new methods to steal and utilize our business and personal information as we share more and more information online for unlawful reasons and financial gain.
As this threat becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives, it’s critical to understand how cybercrime has grown into such a huge issue, why we’re all so vulnerable to it, and how we can defend ourselves.
How Cybercrime Becomes a Threat
Criminal action using computers, networks, and digital devices is called cybercrime. It has the potential to endanger national security, corporations, and people. Many people, in particular, are victims of cybercrime that targets their finances; it is a widespread issue that has damaged countless lives. Our reliance on the internet and the World Wide Web also makes us more exposed to cybercriminal attacks.
If you aren’t a techie, you might not know that the internet and the World Wide Web are two separate entities. The Internet is a vast network of interconnected computer networks that span the globe. We use the internet to access the World Wide Web, which is a system of interconnected hypertext texts. Regardless, the two phrases have become nearly synonymous.
The Internet and the World Wide Web have brought a wealth of knowledge to hundreds of millions of individuals across the world. Because the internet has grown in popularity, more Americans believe they would have a harder time giving up the internet than they would giving up television.
There’s no denying that internet communication has altered the world. On the plus side, the internet allows individuals to acquire and share information. Promotes product promotion and sales. Allows for real-time communication across large distances and allows people to do much more.
On the other hand, the Internet may expose users to bullying, stalking, and invasions of privacy. Furthermore, the storing and movement of electronic data – such as personal information, credit card numbers, and other data – has resulted in an increase in cybercrime.
THE SCALE OF CYBERCRIME
According to the most recent data available from the United States Bureau of Justice, 10% of all Americans over the age of 16 reported being a victim of cybercrime in the preceding year. When accounting for hackers or attempted intrusions into an email and social media accounts, several polls reveal that the figures are quadruple those of recorded crimes.
The theft and unauthorized use of existing account information accounted for the great majority of instances. Personal identity theft resulted in about $25 billion in financial damages. That’s more than $10 billion more than all other property offences combined.
According to the FBI, the most prevalent hazards are corporate email scams and identity theft for theft or fraud. Malicious software, malware, ransomware, spoofing or phishing techniques to deceive individuals into giving criminals personal information, and online predatory conduct are all mentioned. With so much illicit activity taking place daily, you need to know how to protect yourself against cybercrime.
How to Avoid Being a Victim of Cybercrime
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as Benjamin Franklin famously said. Regarding data security, this is unquestionably true. Here are some things you can do to keep your personal information safe online and avoid being a victim of cybercrime:
Safeguard Your Accounts
Choose strong passwords that include letters, numbers, and symbols, and don’t reuse the same password across all of your accounts. Keep a password list in your safe or invest in security software that will track passwords for several sites and allow you to access them with a single password if you’re prone to forgetting them.
Look for safety
If you’re making an online purchase, ensure you’re using a secure connection. Take a look at the web URL. The connection is usually secure if it begins with ‘https’ or displays a green box with a padlock. It’s also critical to have security software installed on your desktops and mobile devices.
Take Charge of Your Data
You may be asked to fill out your profile every time you visit Facebook, but you shouldn’t. Limit the personal information you disclose on social networking networks, such as birthdays, pet and best friend names, addresses, and other information. This information can be used to unlock accounts and answer security questions.
Pay Attention to Your Bills
Many consumers pay their bills electronically without ever reviewing the charges. It’s vital to scrutinize each charge, regardless of the payment method you choose. Unexpected charges may be unintentional, or they may indicate that your data has been taken. If you identify a mistake, please notify us as soon as possible.
Activate Account Alerts
Many banks, financial institutions, and credit monitoring companies provide warnings to customers when their accounts change. Email messages are often used as alerts. These notifications can provide you with notice of questionable account activity far sooner than if you wait until the end of the month to see your statement.
When utilizing free WiFi, be cautious. Because hackers may follow your activity, it’s not a good idea to access bank accounts or password-protected sites on public networks (free WiFi gives you access to a shared network). According to Kiplinger’s, utilizing your phone’s mobile network hotspot to access the Internet instead of free WiFi may be a better option.
UK Cyber Security Ltd is here to help
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If you would like to know more, do get in touch as we are happy to answer any questions. Looking to improve your cybersecurity but not sure where to start? Begin by getting certified in Cyber Essentials, the UK government’s scheme that covers all the technical controls that will provide the protection that you need to help guard against criminal attacks. Or just get in touch by clicking contact us