Cyber threats are no longer hearsay because every so often, malicious online attacks are hitting closer and closer to home. These threats are also great at evolving into different variations so it’s pertinent to stay updated on the current threats. Start protecting yourselves from 2017 cyber threats by learning more about them in detail and what you should do as safety precautions.
Cyber Threat #1: Typosquatting
For starters, fake websites are being created to look like their legitimate counterparts. To do this, cyber criminals secure URLs that contain a slight typo. Individuals who accidentally enter the wrong URL are brought to a site that looks exactly like the original. Since this is a website that the person trusts, he or she might unknowingly input their credentials. What’s more, these fake sites are designed to distribute malware, facilitate a phishing scam, and more.
You should always double check when you enter a URL. Make sure there are no typos in the web address! Other ways to protect yourself include installing antivirus software or bookmarking a site you visit regularly.
Cyber Threat #2: Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks have been rising over the past few years. Many people have been tricked to think that phishing emails are legitimate banking or work emails. Oftentimes, phishing emails contain a link to a webpage that requests bank account and credit card information, as well as other sensitive personal details. In order to protect yourself from any phishing attempts, never click on attachments or links in an email that was sent from unknown sources.
Cyber Threat #3: Hack Attacks
Hackers have the ability to exploit unpatched software security holes to break into a network. By doing so, they may commit identity theft by stealing sensitive personal information and pretend to be you. If you want to remain safe from ransomware or other hack attacks, you should regularly update all the applications and operating software you are using, with the latest security patches. This practice doesn’t take up too much time and it is beneficial in the long run.
Cyber Threat #4: DDoS and IoT Hackers
Although there are an increasing number of devices becoming internet enabled, some security measures that were implemented to protect them are still not keeping up. Today, hackers have found many new ways to continue to exploit these vulnerabilities. For example, IoT devices being used to facilitate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, i.e. flooding a targeted website with an overwhelming amount of requests from a network of machines. Since a majority of smart devices utilize open public ports, some hackers have also established a large database of these open ports to form a botnet.
The safe thing to do here is to secure all the smart appliances you are using. One way is to change the usernames and passwords you are using to access your devices on a regular basis. If you have someone managing your IT environment, it’s a good move. Also, make sure you check for firmware updates as well as security patches from the devices’ manufacturer. If you think your machine is affected by malware, reboot it since malware is often located in a device’s temporary memory.
Cyber Threat #5: Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware is serious cyber threat and has gotten more sophisticated over time. Hackers can use them to gain unauthorized access to a computer, encrypt its files, and demand a payment from you when you want to get the files back. Always make sure that you back up your files and protect your personal information. In addition, avoid opening up suspicious email attachments or clicking on links in emails sent from unknown individuals. If possible, use a Virtual Private Network to secure your connections as well as install the latest antivirus and firewall software.