With tech steering the world to the 21st century, so are the hackers. Cybercrimes are on a steep rise, and most of them target the financial sector.
Organizations have been prompted to bolster their cyber security since breaches can be very costly, and in some instances, they can run a business to the ground.
According to a report generated by Cisco Annual Cybersecurity 2017, cybercrimes increased by four times between January 2016 and October 2017. Sadly, cybercriminals are getting sophisticated and can strike at any time. The hackers lurk in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to strike.
Financial institutions are suffering significant losses to cybercriminals. This explains the increase in credit cards theft and fraud. Some of the hackers have gone to the extent of hacking webcams and spying on unsuspecting victims on their cameras.
Dangers Associated with Hacking a Software
Anyone who uses and connects to the internet is susceptible to hackers. These cybercriminals employ phishing scams, bogus websites, spam emails, and more to breach your computer’s operating software or network. They also exploit computers that are not protected by firewalls to access them directly and steal private information such as credit card information.
Most of these hackers are disguised under fake identities and conceal their locations with proxies or VPNs, which makes the process of tracking them very difficult. Once a hacker is in your system they can manipulate your information, leak private information, steal, or even erase your identity.
Some of the things a hacker can do after hacking your software include but are not limited to:
- Ruin your credit score
- Steal passwords and usernames
- Request cash advances
- Steal your money
- Create credit cards and bank accounts in your name
- Make purchases
- Authorize their alias as credit card account co-user
- Sell your information to third parties.
But how do you know you’ve been hacked? You should always check the accuracy of your documents and credit cards and other personal accounts. Once you notice you’ve been hacked, report to the relevant authorities immediately. It’s also a wise move to deactivate your accounts to avoid further damages.
Which Software is the Safest?
In the current era of technology, it’s almost impossible to stay away from the internet. This is because over 70 percent of transactions in the world are being done online. What you need to know is how to secure your software to keep criminals at bay.
Antivirus, firewalls, and antispyware software help to keep your devices safe. Most of these software requires customers to pay premium fees. But what they cost as compared to what they protect you from is worth it. The pricing varies from one software to another depending on its’s manufacturers and its features.
Some of this software comes for free. For instance, Windows Defender is complimentary security software that comes with Microsoft products.
Ways to Secure your Devices
While cybercriminals are becoming more advanced, so is cybersecurity measures. If you’re an internet user, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You must seek the most current techniques to protect your P.C, MAC, or smartphone. Always remember data breaches pose significant damages. Here are some methods to protect your devices against cybercriminals.
Keeping current with browser, system, and important app updates, is a great way to keep cybercriminals at bay. This is because updates help to eliminate software flaws, which would otherwise be exploited by hackers to steal information and view your activity. For instance, Microsoft provides regular updates and most of them entail security upgrades.
So if you’re using windows, make sure you regularly download and install updates for the OS, Windows Defender, Internet Explorer or Edge, and Outlook Express. You may also conduct patching operations when using Macintosh Operating System or install updates for Android or IOS.
Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is crucial for keeping viruses at bay. If viruses are allowed to accumulate in your device, they lead to the destruction of data and allow spam emails, slow your device, and in extreme cases crash it. The good news is that if you install antivirus software, it scans incoming files and the existing ones ridding them of anything malicious. Well updated antivirus programs, are equipped with additional features to deal with new “Bugs” on the internet.
Current antivirus protections are equipped with the ability to automatically update themselves when online. This makes them very effective. Remember if you’ve installed a free antivirus program on your device to make comprehensive conduct manual scans at least twice per week.
Install Antispyware Software
Spyware entails software installed on your device without your consent to collect personal data and monitor your online activities. Some advanced spyware also known as keyloggers, track and record every keystroke you make. This makes it easier for cybercriminals to collect your usernames and passwords just to mention a few.
That’s why you need to install spyware protection programs. Some antispyware are embedded in anti-virus while others are standalone software. These programs scan and get rid of spyware software.
Firewalls block hackers from accessing your device. Some cybercriminals randomly send thousands of pings to computers and lay in wait for the ones that will pay off. This is where firewall software comes and deters your comp from responding to such pings. Most operating systems have in-built firewalls, which you can switch on and off. When online, always make sure your firewall software is updated and switched on.
Use Strong Passwords and authentication.
Creating complex passwords and employing strong authentication methods are great ways to steer from cybercriminals and secure your personal information. Passwords should at least entail eight characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid choosing passwords that are easy to guess such as your birthday dates and so on. More importantly, it’s safer to strongly authenticate your accounts with a one-time code or fingerprint just to mention a few.
By embracing the above tips, you stand to be safe when online. You get to protect your personal information and mitigate the risk of losing money. Remember to install an antirust as it’s always better to be safe than sorry