Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Staying safe in the digital world

 

Staying safe in the digital world

The availability and accessibility of the internet and digital tool, has made sure to connect the world in the greater sense of the word. 


Today, the world we live in has reconstructed itself into a global village connecting people. But, there is a dark side to the concept of the digital world and it is the invasion of your personal and private information.


Our news media is filled with stories of cybercrimes from cyberbullying and online harassment to identify theft scams and phishing scams, we are continuously in the lurch of getting exploited through the digital mediums. 


In such unprecedented times where being involved in the digital world holds great importance and while staying safe is even more important, the first step you should take is to sign up with a reliable internet connection, like Spectrum or Optimum internet. 


Internet service providers have a huge role in the cybersecurity of their customers and therefore, you should be mindful when making this decision. If you already have an ISP and want to switch or are looking for a new ISP, we recommend you check Spectrum deals to find various offers and arrangements that can benefit you.

Cybercrime

Cybercrimes, also known as computer-oriented crimes, are criminal activities that involve a network and a computer. The system might be a supplement to the crime or perhaps the target itself. 


A study concluded by Norton suggests that almost 30 percent of the consumers globally have no awareness that their computers and smart devices (including but not limited to smartphones, smart homes, smart door locks, smart plugs and lights, and smart TVs) can be hacked. 25 percent of the consumers are unaware that giving unauthorized access to an email server might lead it to access all linked accounts and devices. 


In this article, we will identify the risks of cybercrime in an effort to avoid any more losses and tips to stay safe in the digital world.


Also Read: How to choose between Apple iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and XR


Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common and dangerous cybercrime. It happens when scammers engage online users through different digital mediums to ‘fish’ for their financial data or passwords. 


Phishing attacks use false websites and hoaxed practices to trick recipients into revealing private, commercial, and sensitive information such as credit card pin, account usernames, social security numbers, and passwords. 


Thieves and scammers will approach you with phony requests and schemes under the disguise of reliable brands like credit card companies, financial institutions, or government agencies. 

Email Phishing

As the name suggests, contacting you via emails for the malicious purpose of phishing is email phishing. This generally includes a time threat to cancel your subscription so that you respond quickly and relay your personal information. 


Such email would direct you to click a link that might seem legitimate at the time but would ask about your financial and personal details later. Such links can also result in your whole system getting hacked or corrupted.

SMS Phishing

This is the practice of sending text messages to your mobile phones in an effort to get you to release private information or click on a fake link. Similar to email phishing, a deadline is mostly given in SMS phishing as well for quick responses.

Voice Phishing

Voice Phishing, also known as Vishing, is when a scammer contacts you and talks to you directly while trying to get your private information.

Angler Phishing

A new type of phishing is Angler phishing where a scammer monitors real-time support or information requests to an authentic company and then impersonating the company, ask for personal information from people, or lure them to visit fake websites.


For such times, always remember that authentic companies do not ask for personal details through the public network and if you are in doubt, it always better to contact the company directly using a contact number that you are sure is correct.

Fake Hotspot points

Everyone enjoys free/public Wi-Fi hotspots without being unaware that the connection is not secure. Free networks are sometimes deployed by scammers in an attempt to track your activities, view your sensitive info, and collect your passwords.


Also Read: Tech News Write For Us

Ransomware or Spyware

Once installed on your computer, spyware (malicious software or malware) allows criminals to observe your activities and behaviors, and collect sensitive data. Spyware intends to work in the background quietly tracking your actions, getting personal information, and sending it to unknown third parties.

How to stay safe?

Being cautious is always better and you can protect yourself digitally as well by following few steps regardless of the ill schemes of the fraudsters.

Be mindful of the basics

Some basic steps to protect your personal, sensitive information:

  • Install a top-notch security software for viruses, malware, and spyware detection, acting as a firewall to guard your data
  • Your operating system must be the latest with all the new updates
  • Use spam filters in emails
  • Never share your personal information via email

Reputable companies never ask for personal info


Reliable and legitimate companies do not ask you to share your personal data using an email. You can spot email phishing easily; some ways are listed below:

  • Direct requests for sensitive data
  • Spelling or grammar errors in the email body
  • Spelling or other glitches in the email address of the sender
  • Uncalled for pressure to act fast and threats 

Always Verify

Being skeptical while being online is recommended. Never click on a web link or respond to a text message without verifying it and do not open any attachments that come alongside an email. Always download applications and music from registered and authorized sources. Activate your phone’s privacy settings to maximize data security.


Be a bit old-school

When it comes to scamming, thieves have not forgotten the old-school ways and you shouldn’t too.

  • Always sign your debit and credit cards when you receive them
  • Don’t write down your PIN anywhere
  • Shred private documents when you no longer need them
  • Screen your bank statements for irregular activities

Change your passwords regularly 

Norton advocates using difficult passwords and changing them frequently in an effort to protect your online privacy. The longer password, the better.

Make sure that your password is at least 8 characters long

Use a mix of numbers, special characters, lower and upper case letter

Avoid using any such numbers or words that can be trailed to yourself like birthdays or names of loved ones


Change your passwords at least twice a year

Keep yourself aware

You cannot fight something that you don’t know of. Cybercrime and cybersecurity, both are changing and evolving by the second and so you need to understand the stakes involved. Invest your money and time to enhance your awareness.

Conclusion

This is the age of the technology boom and it is creating never-ending benefits for our smooth and easy lifestyle. This technology can be better used safely when you are aware of the risks involved and are ready to take the right steps to protect your privacy.

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