As the internet continues to advance so are cyber attacks. Cyber attack or cyber hacking means unauthorized access of electronically stored personal or sensitive data which is used to cause harm. For instance, cyber criminals can steal credit card information and use it to purchase goods. Other activities of cyber criminals include;
Steal money from people’s bank accounts.
Manipulate election votes.
Expose private and sensitive information online for the world to see.
Disrupt government and other organizations activities.
Identity theft, deception and much more.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security means protecting your information and activities stored electronically from unauthorized access and usage.
Cyber crime is a constant evolving treat and so cyber security must be steps ahead.
Once upon a time, before the internet came, it wasn’t easy to steal sensitive data as the thief would need to break into your house and/or your safe to gain access. You had total control on how your information was stored.
In this internet age, it’s much more economical, cheaper and safer to store your data electronically online. There are many internet companies that offer free online storage including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and so on on.
Even if you store your sensitive data on your laptop or phone, chances are that it will still end up online when you send electronically to a third party.
The internet has made it very easy and convenient to send, receive and store information. It also made it easy to interact with people anywhere in the world and do business. But you are not in total control of how those information are stored and handled.
Information you send through the internet passes a network of servers linked to your laptop or phone before getting to its destination.
Cyber criminals exploit these servers and networks to gain access to personal or sensitive data and do nefarious activities with the accessed information.
Even if you took precautions to protect the information at your end, you are still at the mercy of your hosting companies/ websites to do the same.
Many online hosting companies spend a lot of money yearly to protect sensitive data from hackers. They also encourage all who send and receive information through their internet device to do the same.
As far as the internet is concerned, cyber crime will always be its major problem.
How to protect yourself from cyber criminals.
- Whatever internet accessing device you use, be it PC, laptop or mobile phone, protect it with a very effective and updated antivirus software.
- Always make sure to restrict access to your computers and phones with a password.
- When you get a new phone take full advantage or activate all of its security features.
- Always read the privacy policies of websites you sign up for.
- Beware of email messages you feel it is spam or dubious.
- Avoid porn and get rich quick sites, they usually contain viruses and malware.
- Avoid websites that provide links for you to download paid software for free. They may contain viruses and malware.
- Beware of unsolicited email and text messages, they may contain links to virus, malware and spyware.
- Avoid websites that provide free service for what you should normally pay for.