Cybercrime is on the rise, which is unfortunate for all of us as we’re spending much more time online. Not only is the world embroiled in a global pandemic, which has seen a boom of remote working and people staying at home, but it’s also meant everybody’s using the internet for work and for leisure. As well as that, we’re also on a march towards a digital world, with old communication technology soon becoming obsolete.
While it can help streamline the way we live and work, it’s also a goldmine for the increasing number of cybercriminals.
Looking at the Stats
We’ve actually got some startling facts gathered from reliable sources when it comes to cybercrimes. Some of them might be no surprise considering the current state while others may truly catch you off guard. This is just from 2020:
- 80% of firms experienced an attempted cyberattack
- 56% of US citizens don’t know what to do if they’re a victim, while 64% don’t even check to see if they’re affected by a data breach. Which is worrying as in 58% of breaches, personal data was involved
- A twitter breach targeted 130 accounts, including big names such as Elon Musk, with the hackers attaining $121,000 in Bitcoin
- Marriott discovered a security breach which affected over 5.2 million guests
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices experience 5,200 attacks per month on average
- 60% of the most malicious domains are spam campaigns
We could spend all day rattling off facts, but that should be enough to demonstrate the severity of cybercrime against business and individuals. It also goes to show that even new technologies, such as IoT, serves itself up for cyberattacks. That’s why as technology and online usage advances, it’s important to take the right steps and make sure you don’t become one of those stats, and it’s easy to do.
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You can avoid becoming a victim by making sure you’re savvy with all the goings-on in the online world. We’re not saying you have to sign up to trade press, blogs and every cyber news story under the sun. Although if you do then you’ll definitely expand your knowledge base. No, all you need to do is make sure you’re aware of the most common online threats and how to combat them. This way you’ll be able to identify any potential threat so it should stop you from visiting a bad website or downloading anything malicious onto your device.
One of the best measures you can take is to use a VPN, or virtual private network if you like it spelled out in full. They’ve become very popular in recent years due to the level of online privacy, protection and anonymity they give. Just check out the benefits of a virtual private network yourself and you’ll see why they’re so popular. They work by masking your IP address so you can go online completely under the radar. This means that you won’t be tracked by your internet service provider, nor any other websites or online services. By selecting a different server, your IP address will be completely different, coming from somewhere else in the world, giving you the safety and security you need. Extra safe when you use a VPN which has solid security measures in place. That way, your personal details and information will be kept protected and hidden from cybercriminals.
Other easy steps to take include making sure your passwords are always updated. And that they’re extra strong too. The longer the better and make sure you have a good mixture of letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using birthdays or the names of your family and make sure you change them once in a while. You can find various password generators online which can serve as inspiration for getting the best password possible.
“Keeping it private” should be three worlds that resonate when you’re online. That means no sharing your passwords with anyone, you never know who might end up with them. It’s also a good mantra when it comes to using public computers or public wi-fi. If you really need to use a public computer, which should be a rare occurrence seeing as everyone has a connected device these days, only use it for its task, don’t go onto your regular sites where your details could be compromised. With public wi-fi, it’s always advised to steer clear. However, if you have a VPN installed on your device, you can actually use the internet without the worry.
It’s a sad state of affairs that cybercrime is rife these days. But by arming yourself with the knowledge and tools to keep yourself protected, you’ll reduce the chance of becoming a cybercrime stat.