The internet is the gateway to confidential digital records, which can be accessed remotely at any time of the day. To protect that information, people mostly rely on the security of passcodes, but it’s not enough! Every day, more than 2,000 cyber crimes occur; not all of them are successful, but it’s still an alarming number. Let me share a real life example of a technological crime and the mistakes we make when we are using various chatting platforms, so you can understand how vulnerable your data and you are when using the internet!
Online Dating Scams
This technological crime is from the year 2013 about a retired woman who was swayed by a friend on joining an online dating platform. She finds a great guy named Dave, who she thought was perfect for becoming an ideal partner. But Dave had something else in his mind; he enchanted her with his words, convinced her into believing him, and after a short time, ensnared her into a compelling story where he told how bankrupt he is and needs help to pay off some debt.
You know what’s coming next, right? She loses more than $1 million in a matter of days! This is just one form of cybercrime where the heart wins over the mind. These stories can be quite compelling, so all I can say is try not to fall for them because you definitely don’t want to become another real life example of a technological crime.
The Phishing Attacks
Phishing is the most common method for obtaining someone’s username, password, credit card details, and other sensitive information that one would only enter into a trustworthy website. The technique involves creating a link to a site or application that is a fake version of the actual one. As it looks a lot like the real deal, people mostly fall for this trick and end up providing their account details.
These types of attacks can have disastrous consequences, as the information can be used to make unauthorized purchases online, and most crucial of all, the perpetrator can steal your identity. Like, in this case, where a CEO of an Airbus supplier fell for a phishing scam, the cybercriminal contacted him (impersonated as a person from the higher echelons of the company) and made him perform a huge secret transaction. The board fired the CEO right after when they found out about him losing more than $50 million in a phishing scam.
How Can You Save Yourself Against Cybercrimes?
No matter how advanced technology is today, there are still discrepancies that will smoke out with time. But, there are a few precautionary steps you can take to save yourself from such fraudulent attempts:
- Use A Virtual Private Network
People nowadays are using virtual private networks (VPN) to pierce through the location-based barricades set by various companies that are somewhat connected with mass media. Besides this basic advantage, it can protect us from several types of online threats as well. If you are using a public network, a VPN will add a protective layer over an IP address, letting you surf the internet anonymously.
I won’t be getting into details as it will get quite complicated to understand for people who are not related to the field of tech. To keep it short, think of it as an imperceptible private network that won’t allow any perpetrator to capture the correct form of information.
- Measures Against Identity Theft
Now there are two ways someone can take your personal information. One is to trick you into entering your personal details in a form over a website or application, or if someone steals it from you, which is highly unlikely.
The first thing you can do to protect yourself from these technological crimes is, install an antimalware program on your computer. The second thing is to try to stay alert when visiting a link shared by a website you know nothing about.
- Don’t Repeat Passwords!
Never use the same passcode for different accounts, NEVER! Okay, let’s say you keep identical PINs for various IDs, just to avoid the chances of mixing them up, or you are not good at memorizing. What will the consequences be? If you become a phishing attack victim, the culprit will have all the information needed to gain access to all of your accounts. So, now you know why it’s really important!
It’s not always an innocent individual who becomes the victim – various companies, small to large, need to equip themselves with the right gear to prep for such incidents. More than 15,000 businesses face data breach a year because their security isn’t strong enough, and most of them were small companies.
To minimize the risk of a data breach, you should start saving it on local servers because now the only way to get to your personal archives is through your server room or computers connected to that network.
Wrapping It Up!
The kind of intimidation the online world contains makes it imperative for every person to put safety measures in place before using any public network. You cannot stop something you can’t see, but you can definitely prevent it from happening with the help of some simple tricks mentioned above.
That real life example of a technological crime I shared earlier isn’t just something you should ignore. We have all been there, and people have tried to trick us over the internet to enter our personal details on various platforms. Sometimes the offer/story seems so real that it becomes near impossible to turn a blind eye to it. So, if you use social platforms, and like to interconnect with people, try not to talk about your personal details because this is where it all begins!
If you are running a business or are an entrepreneur, you need to take precautions before launching it. There are various platforms over the internet that can help in this regard, but I’ll suggest checking out Real Business. The information they provide to grow SMEs is marvelous, and you’ll know the outcomes of actions before you even think about taking them.