Liaqat Ali Hamiya
Millions of people suffer from cyber-attacks yearly. Cybercrime is an ongoing threat in 2019.
Research published by cyber threat intelligence company Intsights. According to the report, more than 25% of all cyber-attacks hit banks and other financial institutions, more than any other industry. Most of the people think that the only form of cybercrime they have to worry about is hackers stealing financial information. But there are many things we need to worry about while using the internet. Cybercrime continues to evolve, with new threats and challenges every year.
We are in the 21st century, facing drastic changes in our lives, especially in information technology. The use of the internet becomes very basic thing in our daily lives, so we cannot stop using the internet because of cybercrimes, therefore, we must have to learn how to protect our self from cybercrime.
What Is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any crime that takes place online or that involves a tech gadget, networked devices or a network. Cybercriminals often commit crimes by targeting computer, laptops by reaching your personal information using internet vulnerable connections, and that can range from security breaches to identity theft. Online spammers use different techniques to steal our data, for example, offering money, sending phishing email, dating and romance, fake charities, investment plans, Jobs and employment scams, free gifts, showing adult attractions and fake online marriage scams. A very similar scam was published in DAWN news on December 14, 2018.
Some of the examples we experience in our surroundings are including things like cyber-stalking, harassment, extortion and demanding money with threats, bullying, blackmail on private data and sexual exploitation.
After all, the question is what kind of basic precautions, we should take to protect ourselves from cybercrimes. Here are some tips that can help us.
Anyone using the internet should follow some basic precautions. Here are tips you can use to protect yourself against the range of cybercrimes out there.
Use an Anti-Malware Software
Using anti-malware software (Anti-viruses) can help you to protect from online security breaches. The anti – malware software provides real-time shield against existing and emerging malware that can steal your identity.
Use Strong Passwords
We are not much aware about the importance of strong passwords, and we repeat the same blunders by creating vulnerable password and use the same passwords everywhere. The most predictable passwords are like, child birth dates, marriage anniversaries, your birthday, pet’s name and similar. This is a crucial mistake because it’s very easy to find this information on the internet. For example, you are celebrating your kid birthday and share pictures with captions, like, “he is my son Ali and today is his 10th birthday”. You don’t realize how much information you shared with that caption. Online hackers always looking for this kind of information. A strong password must be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, that would not be easy to guess for the cyber criminals.
Use of Social Media
It is very easy to access your private data via social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. Cyber criminals use that data to exploit people. Before sharing private things on social media make sure your account is private, and you know the people who are on your friend list. Adding unknown people can also create trouble for you. Never ever reveal your mother’s name, pet name, place of birth, and last name. These are the most common security questions you will be asked.
Provide Awareness to Your Children About Cybercrime
Cyber criminals look for the soft targets and they try to exploit specially teen agers by showing them adult content, when they click on that kind of ads, the system redirect them to a firm where cyber criminals ask for personal information, then they ask for webcam access, once we allowed our cam access, gradually they offer different things and eventually they get want they wanted. This is our duty to teach our children about the safely use of the internet. Make sure they know that they can come to you if they’re facing any kind of internet harassment, blackmailing, or victimization.
It’s very important to keep an eye on your children’s activities on the internet.
Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
Phishing scam is a kind of cybercrime often used to steal your personal data, including, user name, password, credit card numbers and others.
It occurs when a scammer, masked as a trusted company and sending you an email, or instant message. The email receiver is then deceived into clicking a harmful link, which can redirect him to the installation of malware, that kind of malware helps online criminals to reveal your sensitive information. Do not click on unknown links offering you deals, free items, money and dating services.
Phishing scam is not limited to your personal data; it also uses to get privileged access to secure data in huge organizations.
What to Do If You Become A Victim
If the scam is related to your financial information, timely contact the company or banks where you know the scam occurred. When you know that you’ve become a victim of any other cybercrime, you need to alert your trusted family members or close friends, who can assist you to get out of this, then police and, in some cases, the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency). We should not ignore even if the crime seems minor. Your report may assist law enforcement institutions in their investigations. By sharing cybercrime related information, you also save other people to become victims.
Cybercrime is a bigger risk than ever before. Billions of internet users are connected to the Internet via laptops, computer, smartphones and other gadgets. Cybercrime became one of the most profitable businesses to make money in the criminal’s world.
These precautions do not keep you safe 100%, but at least reduce the risk. Ensuing these few simple steps, keep you and your family safe.
Liaqat Ali Hamiya is co-founder of Genesis. He is also associated with BRNDians, a holistic digital marketing and branding agency in Karachi, Pakistan. From Hunza