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Lockdown Your Devices – The Lowdown on Cybersecurity

Lockdown Your Devices – The Lowdown on Cybersecurity

As we store more and more information on our devices, inevitably that includes personal details, bank accounts and more. But with an increasing number of businesses issuing tablets and mobile phones to employees in order to work productively from home, these, too, contain private data and security details. Not only can hardware easily fall into the wrong hands – a tablet left on a coffee shop table, for example, but private data can also be accessed, leading to identity theft or security breaches.

The cybersecurity industry aims to prevent this information becoming known by those it’s not intended for, but as cybercriminals become more determined, IT security finds itself under increasing pressure to keep ahead of the game.

Many companies offer effective cybersecurity, so whether you’re an individual, or a big corporation, there are cutting edge solutions available. The UK are market leaders in the cybersecurity field, and The Global City reports that there are, in Central London alone, in excess of 200 cybersecurity service providers.

The methods used to design your website can also have implications for security breaches and WiWy.com has a proven track record for designing secure sites for the online marketing industry.

Types of Cybercrime

Hacking

Usually involving governments or big corporations, hackers acquire functions within the system of their victim. Breaching privacy by accessing important data, hackers can easily bring a business to its knees.

Scamming

This cybercrime aims to make money from its victims by offering a service, computer troubleshooting for example, identifying issues that don’t exist, and charging money to ‘fix’ them. Often targeting the elderly, it aims to pick victims who won’t be too savvy about, in this case, computers.

Identity theft

The stealing of personal details, such as passwords, social security information and bank account codes to use for nefarious purposes is known as identity theft. Using this sensitive data, cybercriminals can steal money from your accounts, open other accounts claiming to be you and run up huge debts. Most victims are private individuals.

Viruses

Gaining unauthorized access to computer networks, viruses can steal important information. Just like the biological variety, computer viruses can infect the whole system, and can affect businesses and individuals alike.

Ransomware

This type of attack can be incredibly destructive, and via public-key encryption, it enters your system and encrypts the files. Public-key encryption enciphers data using two keys, one public, available for anyone to use, and one private. Public key data can only be decrypted by accessing the private key, and vice versa. Targetting mainly large corporations, vast sums of money can be lost.

Phishing

Acting like a legitimate business, phishers use fake emails in order to extract information. Mainly targetting private individuals, the emails are cleverly designed to appear genuine, ensuring the victim responds to their request for data, such as bank accounts, or passwords.

Stalking and cyberbullying

The same as in the non-virtual world, cyberstalking involves anonymously following someone online. This is especially easy via social media platforms and frequently the victims are women and children. Often going hand in hand with cyberstalking is online bullying. Both are becoming an increasingly common crime, but many countries have laws in place to protect individuals from this type of activity.

How to Protect Yourself

There is plenty the individual can do to protect sensitive information. Many programmes exist specifically to keep devices free from cybercrime, running in the background and constantly scanning for security breaches.

The use of strong passwords that aren’t stored on your device is another easily achievable method of protection, and if you’re not already, become computer savvy. Use common sense – how can someone from Outer Mongolia identify that your laptop in the UK is running slow and needs a fix? They can’t and if someone targets you, requesting access to your device, it’s a safe bet that you can ignore them with no harm befalling your computer. Most banks never ask for your account details over the phone or online, so wise up if someone is asking for that information. Above all, be wise, and utilise every security method at your disposal.

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Amir Zarandouz

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