Despite all the advances being made in the field of online security, cybercrime is steadily on the rise. In addition to constantly thinking up new schemes, dedicated cybercriminals are consistently finding new avenues for carrying them out. In the interest of staying safe online, every internet user is advised to keep an eye out for cybercriminals and invest in dependable security software. Many cybercriminals won’t hesitate to take advantage of receptive targets, and taking measures to keep yourself in the know can go a long way in keeping your personal information out of the wrong hands. When navigating the worldwide web, take care to remain on guard against the following forms of cybercrime.
- Device Hijacking
Malicious software, or “malware,” is a tool utilized by a growing number of cybercriminals. While there are many different types of malware, most of them are designed with information theft and extortion in mind. Ransomware, one of the most insidious varieties of malware, accomplishes both of these goals by hijacking and taking control of the devices it infects. In order for victims to regain control of their devices, they’re required to pay a ransom. Not only does ransomware limit victims’ access to the internet, it can make their devices useless through altering a variety of settings. Like most malware, ransomware is typically spread via phishing emails, Flash ads and unsecured websites. Site owners interested in effective security solutions that will stop ransomware in its tracks should consult some SiteLock reviews.
- Social Media Hacking
These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t use at least form of social media. Popular mainstays like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become integral parts of many people’s online lives in recent years. That being the case, there’s little wonder as to why prominent social media outlets have drawn the attention of dedicated cybercriminals. Although the hacking of social media accounts is often done as a joke, such attacks come sometimes be far more malicious in nature. For example, if a cybercriminal is able to gain control of one or more of your social media accounts, he or she can share malicious links with your followers, thereby increasing the spread of malware and information theft. Depending on how many followers you have, the consequences of a hacked account can be far-reaching. In addition to damaging your reputation on certain platforms, a targeted social media attack can result in your followers’ personal data being compromised. As such, it’s imperative that you keep a watchful eye on your social media accounts and create new passwords on a regular basis.
- Logic Bombs
Functioning in much the same manner as viruses, logic bombs are small programs or parts of programs that are triggered by certain events. These events can take the form of dates, times, a specific amount of hard drive space filling up or a particular file being deleted. Once the event occurs, a logic bomb deletes vital sections of code, thereby rendering certain programs and/or device functions useless. More often than not, logic bombs are installed on devices by hackers who have gained remote access to them.
- Email Scams
One of the oldest schemes in the cybercriminal playbook, email scams have become more prevalent than ever. Email scams can take on a variety of forms, most of which prey upon targets’ fears and vulnerabilities. Some email scams involve crooks sending money requests from the spoofed email addresses of friends and family members, while others try to entice targets into thinking they’ve won sweepstakes or lotteries. Email scams often go hand in hand with phishing – i.e., tricking people into clicking malicious links and/or installing malware.
For as long as the internet has been a part of our daily lives, cybercriminals have perpetrated a variety of schemes. Cybercrime tends to carry fewer risks than traditional criminal activity, and it’s often difficult to locate and prosecute those who engage in it. As such, most online crooks have little incentive to mend their ways. Fortunately, protecting yourself from their machinations doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Keeping your guard up, exercising common sense and outfitting your devices with top-notch security software can help ensure that your online experience is incident-free.