The internet has become an integral part of our everyday life. We consume massive amounts of various content daily, be it news, videos, or visual material. And on top of that, everyone can upload any sort of content to the Internet. While consuming the endlessly entertaining materials, we might not realize how vulnerable we can be. Our data and personal information can be stolen by anyone who knows how to exploit security weaknesses.
This chapter focused on different cybersecurity threats and the ways in which they target their victims. Hopefully, with this new information, you can be better prepared and keep yourself safe on the Internet.
Fraudulent emails that aim to gain access to personal information or cause other harm.
Malware is an umbrella term for different types of software that aim to cause damage to a computer or a network, for example. Malware types include worms, ransomware, and viruses.
Identity thefts aim to gain access to the victims’ personal information without their consent. There are multiple ways in which attacks may be organized, so it’s vital to stay vigilant.
Wireless networks are simple to use, but they can also be significant threats for devices that are not properly secured. Unsecure wireless networks' risks and threats include freeloading, rogue clients, and DoS/DDoS attacks, for example.
Internet of Things
IoT is considered the next great step of the Internet. Devices and services – all being interconnected in brand new ways – can make our lives easier but also leave us vulnerable to new threats.
Protecting our private information is highly important in modern everyday life. There are many simple measures, and implementing them makes us more safe and secure. Using strong passwords, recognizing suspicious activity, and controlling one’s emotions go a long way in keeping us safe. Let’s go through some of the most common threats once again – reviewing never hurts!
Emails Scams Learning to recognize how to spot suspicious emails. If the email triggers virus warning, contains executable files or unrealistic content, or aims to evoke emotion, something is most probably not right. Phishing emails have typos and misspells, website links and they request personal information.
Malware Malware is a broad term for malicious software aiming to gain access to user files, perform identity thefts, or cause harm in other ways. Never install unknown software, and never open files or other attachments received via email.
Identity Theft Identity theft can lead to tremendous harm, and it’s best to protect ourselves beforehand. Creating unique and complex passwords, never giving your personal information, using only websites that are secure and using paperless billing go a long way. Also, enabling two-factor authentication is great way to protect your accounts.
Social Engineering As anywhere else, use strong passwords, enable privacy settings, and use multi-factor authentication when logging in. And most importantly, think first about the content you are going to share while controlling your emotions.
Wireless Network Keep in mind the importance of strong passwords, don’t use default settings, and change the SSID (network name) immediately. Poorly protected wireless networks are some of the most serious threats out there.
Internet of Things Connect devices only to a secure network, proper encryption and controlled access. Personal information should be stored securely and there should be ability to check for updates and make them safely.
During this chapter, you learned more about cyber security threats and risks. Some of them may be familiar to you, but as technology and safety measures develop all the time, so do the hackers. Vulnerabilities can usually be detected in time, but sometimes they go unnoticed or they haven't been even considered, and at that point they are taken advantage of by the attackers.
We don't need complicated security measures to protect our data – starting with a strong password and using multi-factor authentication go a long way. Keeping our devices and software updated will helps keeping outsiders away.
As a reminder, we should always think about the content we are about to share on the Internet. Is the site public or is the access controlled? You should not share private information, like medical or financial details, as they could be used to gain access to your accounts or cause you harm. Next up is the knowledge test. Take a moment to review the contents of this chapter, and do your best! Good luck!