Cybercrime (or else cyber crime or computer crime) is any type of crime that has got some link to the web and its threat increases by the second. As you will come to realize, there are various different kinds of dangers that lurk in the dark and are brought to light after having suffered from an identity theft or money interception online. Reports highlight the importance of effectively dealing with cybercrime, as it has been made more frequent than taking deep breaths!
Indeed, from the official website of Norton we can see the disturbing and evidently terrifying data as to the impact of Cyber crime on our lives; every 3 seconds there is another identity theft occurring, while there is more money involved in cyber crime than in drug trafficking. As for the time required for the cyber criminals to access your unprotected computer after connecting to the Internet, the number is shocking: 4 minutes!
Of course, cybercrime has not become a threat overnight. Among the earliest cases of computer crime, we find the scandal of Union Dime Savings Bank back in the 1970s. Over $1.5 million had been taken from hundreds of bank accounts with the use of a computer system and the craftiness of the hackers! Since technology has come a long way since its infancy and the skills of cyber criminals have evolved and improved significantly, it is crucial to come up with the proper security against cyber crime. Below, there are some solid pieces of advice as to how you can avoid cybercrime effectively and without any negative surprises!
Identifying Cyber Crime Attack Techniques
First, you should know your enemy prior to being ready to defeat him. This applies to the use of information targeting how cyber criminals operate. If you get to know what to watch out from, things will become a lot easier for you in the long run. So, let us have a closer look at some of the most prominent techniques used by criminals on the web!
- Fast Flux: This is a DNS technique that has been widely used by botnets. This is what the cybercriminals use for concealing both phishing and malware. Social network services have been associated to occurrence of fast flux over time.
- Skimmers: Resembling lawful devices and misleading the public, such techniques used by criminals aim at scanning the credit and debit card info. In this way, cash can be intercepted and hackers can spot the victims with the best chances of being robbed of their accounts.
- DoS (Denial of Service): Traffic increases abnormally and on purpose, causing flooding and subsequently preventing users from accessing the websites suffering from such an attack.
- Zombie Computer: After hacking a specific computer, cybercriminals initiate additional attacks to other computers using it as their basis or as part of botnets.
- Phishing: Using this technique, personal info is obtained through the masking into legitimate websites.
One cannot stress enough how important strong passwords are in order to avoid cyber crime. You ought to keep in mind the fact that your password should be at least eight characters long and it should ideally include both upper and lower scale letters, numbers and symbols. However, this is not the only thing you should pay attention to:
- Do Not Use Passwords Including Words That Define You: If you come from Paris, it is probably a great idea to avoid that when you think of your password. The same goes with words that have to do with your business, your school or your favorite team.
- Do Not Choose Identical Passwords: If you have multiple accounts on social media and e-mail providers, as well as other passwords for your mobile and laptop, you had better use different words in each case. In this way, even if cyber criminals get their hands on one account, they will not do the same for all at once.
- Do Not Reveal Information on Social Media: This is really crucial, since social media accounts attract a lot of people and they will certainly attract Cyber criminals. If you want to use your pet’s name within your password (which is a no-no, as we have stated above as well!), at least do not make it public on Facebook!
Keep Your Computer Configured Securely
If you want to eliminate all dangers regarding cybercrime, it is of paramount importance to keep your computer up to date with the latest technological advancement. This includes legit Operating System and regularly updated anti-virus software, as well as all the other applications and types of software that you need. Do not indulge in free downloading from websites that you do not know and that do not have SSL certificate or https, because they are red flags that you ought to stay away from! So, any software you find there is prone to trigger negative effects to your computer. What is more, adjust the security settings of your browser and firewall based on your needs.
Secure Your Wireless Network
Wi-Fi is really fragile, in terms of hacking attempts. This means that you have to be extremely cautious when setting up your wireless network. Of course, public Wi-Fi hotspots are equally (if not more) risky concerning such attempts of intercepting data. In avoidance of such risks, you should feel free to secure your wireless router and make use of WEP 2.0 with a strong and lengthy password! Do not leave room for any intruders sharing your Internet connection, because this will make you even more vulnerable.
Beware of Online Shopping
Another thing you should be really careful of in the field of security against cyber crime is online shopping. It goes without even questioning that this can offer you exceptional convenience and amazing deals, but there are risks that you should confront with effectively. Do not buy anything from shady websites, which do not have SSL certificate or https. These are two instant ways of knowing that something is wrong with the security layer of the online stores. Additionally, prefer online stores that have been established over time and that trigger positive feedback and reviews on this subject.
Nowadays, a lot of people have become conscious of the value of two-step verification in e-mail accounts and other cases when this is needed. Instead of using a single method of verifying one’s identity, the combination of two different methods strengthens the overall effectiveness of passwords. So, even if a hacker does penetrate the first layer of verification, there is another step waiting to prevent him along the way. So, when this is possible for you, do not miss out on the opportunity to engage in two-step verification. Gmail and Yahoo, Hotmail and many other services and websites have already embraced such a great tool for Internet users!
As you can imagine, you can never put down your shield regarding your defensive system against Cybercrime. Although cyber criminals have become a lot more powerful than they used to be in the past, the same goes for the weapons that every single one of us can take advantage of. Do not be afraid of maximizing your tools towards fighting off hostile intruders and malicious attempts targeting your computer. With the proper information and with updated software and security tips, you will be the ultimate winner of this ongoing challenge!