The Internet Age is here with us. And with its benefits also comes the criminal elements who want to take advantage. Cyber criminals are those who engage in criminal activities using computers or the Internet. And now that major commercial, social and even academic and political activities are taking on a more virtual trajectories, cyber criminals have mushroomed.
Cyber security is generally defined as the practice of defending anything from computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from cyber criminals who maliciously attack these systems.
Why should we defend against cyber attacks? Because everything depends on it. Our information is at risk, and whoever has your information can damage your life any how they see fit. They can steal your credit card information, your identity, your trade secrets, your privacy, your intellectual property, your peace of mind, and anything worth your dignity and future. For organizations, this might mean the end of competition, bankruptcy, and anything in between.
It is happening every 39 seconds.
Yes, absolutely. That’s how many times someone or some organization is being robbed cyberly. And how do these criminals achieve their malicious aims?
First, through malicious software also known as malware. This happens when a cyber criminal takes over your computer and controls it remotely. Malware is designed by cyber criminals to harm or manipulate your electronic devices or networks. They “infect” your computer or device.
Second, through social engineering methods. These methods include:
Phishing – there are some red flags you can look for, such as when your computer is behaving awkward, pop ups are showing upon your computer, the computer is very slow and so on. Executive phishing is very common, and here, cyber criminals may target an executive.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) – this happens when cyber criminals are former disgruntled employees or they use former employee of an organization. This could be falter because these employees had the organization emails or know how to access them.
Social media – is the most frequented use by cyber criminals. Here, they find all the information one uses. When you are opening an account, say with the banks, insurance company or school, you normally select certain security questions, such as names of pets, parents’ maiden names, aliases, place of birth or first residence, where you met your significant other or where you had your wedding or graduated. Cyber criminals pay very much attention to these catchphrases and words. When they join you as “friends” on social media, they are looking for your offhand disclosure of these terms or words. And when you post something about your pet, the cookie you named “Sam” or your children’s middle names or favorite activities, they take note. The goal of these cyber criminals is to gather as much information pertinent to you as possible so that they can decipher your password or password combinations.
It is, generally, recommended not to use your real names on social media and not to make your date of birth public and not to disclose your contact details to not-s-known-friends. Here, cyber criminals may gather so much data (information) which they may weaponize against your interests. It is relatively safer to use your full name with “business-related” social media account because these may be equipped with multi-factor authentication or MFA. MFA is an electronic authentication method. With this method, the user is only granted access to a website or application after presenting at least two pieces of evidence to authenticate their identity.
Rule of thumb is, the less you share on social media the better. The more you share on social media, the more vulnerable you are.
Copyright © 2012 - 2024 Charles Mwewa - All Rights