People these days are addicted to technology. Whether it be laptops or mobiles, people are always around digital and electronic gadgetry. We believe that we’ve benefitted greatly from the advancements in technology, but if we don’t acknowledge the risks that we’ve exposed ourselves to due to technology, then it would be stating half the truth.
For instance, these technologies have exposed us to the cybersecurity threats—the greatest issue that has come to dominate the debate over the adoption of these technologies. Can we protect ourselves from the cybersecurity threats if we aren’t even aware of them? The answer is a resounding, no.
People’s reliance on the Internet and cyber connectivity has exposed them to several online security risks. Most people think that the one password authentication they have on their phones will protect them against all cybersecurity threats.
In reality, that password is the easiest one to hack, given that competent hackers will gain entire control of your device. Considering all this, what recourse is available to us to be able to continue using technology without having the threat of malicious attacks looming over our heads?
The answer is simple: learn how to identify and prevent the common types of security risks. With cybersecurity getting the attention it deserves nowadays, several people are more than interested in studying the technicalities of how unlawful, malicious attacks are launched worldwide and to devise strategies for preventing them.
Companies are keen on hiring security specialists who can keep their businesses safe from spying, hacking, and other criminal activity. In the wake of a cyberattack, a country’s defenses could be compromised, and it’s in those times that experts credentialed in emergency management masters degree online can step up and offer their services in repairing the cyber defenses.
According to Forbes, 300 major data breaches have taken place globally over the past 3-years. People must stop giving cyber attackers access to their data and do everything in their power to keep their sensitive data protected. The first step in doing so is to gain knowledge about the subject.
Here are the top twelve cyber security risks everyone must know about, along with tips on how to avoid them:
1. Password Theft
An unwanted third party can steal, guess, or change a user’s password and extract their personal information using their online details.
Prevention: Create a stronger password, change passwords often, and turn on two-factor authentication.
2. Traffic Interception
It occurs when a third party eavesdrops or listens in on information being shared between a user and a host. Hackers can steal this information and use it to their advantage.
Prevention: Avoid accessing compromised or insecure websites and encrypt network traffic using a VPN.
Malware refers to unwanted software that installs on a device automatically and lead to unusual behavior, like file deletion, spreading viruses, corrupting programs, and more.
Prevention: Install an anti-malware program and avoid downloading content from suspicious links over on the Internet.
4. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
Malicious parties can target servers by overloading them with user traffic to slow down performance, known as a Distributed Denial of Service attack.
Prevention: It’s challenging to identify and stop malicious traffic from entering a tech device. Therefore, it’s best to involve an expert in the process or carry out regular maintenance of the servers.
5. Cross-Site Attack
When a regular user accesses a website flooded with dangerous code, they invite the code into their system or browser. This code disrupts the device’s functionality and enables hackers to steal user information.
Prevention: Stay clear of visiting vulnerable websites with a malicious payload or install script-blocker add-ons to control the device’s browsing activity.
6. Phishing Attacks
Phishing refers to hackers targeting user devices via email or messages. A link appears in the message designed to get information out of unsuspecting users.
Prevention: Identify phishing messages by noting spelling mistakes and syntax errors and never share personal information with anyone online.
7. Zero-Day Exploits
It refers to a targeted attack against a network system that exploits an inherent security loophole, leading to damages and loss of data.
Prevention: Use security tools to identify and plug loopholes.
8. Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack
A MitM attack occurs when a hacker requests personal information from users under false pretenses, usually by disguising as a bank agent.
Prevention: Employ encryption and use HTML5.
Ransomware attacks by installing software automatically onto a user’s system or network and prevents their access to the system and processes. Usually, the attacker will keep your system hostage unless you make payments, hence, the name ransomware.
Prevention: Install and regularly update anti-virus software and always keep a backup of any private data.
10. Trojan Virus
Hackers attempt to disguise their trojan malware as legitimate software in order to gain access into a system and compromising its integrity from within.
Prevention: Avoid downloading content from unrecognized sites.
11. SQL Injection
It refers to data manipulation by sending SQL queries to a device’s system to retrieve sensitive data.
Prevention: Implement smart firewalls that detect and filter out unwanted queries and illegal user inputs.
12. Drive-By Attack
Hackers deliver malicious code to a device’s system, intending to corrupt it.
Prevention: Avoid accessing suspicious websites and install an anti-malware program.
Cyber risks will continue to grow, both in complexity and intensity, if proper protective measures aren’t put in place. While some of these threats are way over the general public’s capacity to prevent, there are others more basic measures that could prevent some of the more common cyber threats. Mentioned above were some of the basic measures anyone can take in order to safeguard their online presence.