Every year, a growing number of criminals leverage the power of the Internet for illegal purposes.
This is true both domestically and internationally.Â Internet security has long been an issue. Â However, it has become increasingly important over the past decade.Â While most people understand there are inherent Internet security risks they are exposed to, they don’t have the answers to basic cyber-crime questions.
Why Does Someone Become a Target of Cyber-Crime?
To develop an effective Internet security strategy, it is essential for everyone to understand why they are targets of cyber-crime.Â Information is incredibly valuable to criminals.Â This includes both personal and business data.Â Personal information such as bank accounts, credit cards, and even Social Security numbers are often stored on a personal computer or third-party websites managed by banks, stores, and government agencies.Â Cyber criminals are constantly attempting to steal this information because it can be used for identity theft and financial fraud (credit card fraud and fraudulent bank withdrawals).Â With such a high value placed on this information, it is no surprise a majority of Internet security threats is targeting it.
How Do Cyber Criminals Mount an Attack?
There are a variety of ways a person exposes themselves to Internet security risks.Â The most important thing to keep in mind is that anytime someone connects to the Internet, they make themselves a potential target.Â Criminals rely on automated tools which scan for unprotected or vulnerable devices, especially at Wi-Fi hotspots.Â A majority of cyber-crime victims were subject to a random attack, although some people are specifically targeted.
Two Common Types Attacks
There are two common types of attacks cyber criminals use.Â The first type of attack is used to steal personal information and is one of the most common Internet security risks.Â Common examples of this include Trojans and spyware. These perform stealthy and unexpected actions such as allowing the attacker to access the device remotely.Â Hackers also use the userâ??s device to facilitate an attack.Â Much like criminals who steal cars in order to commit a crime, cyber criminals hijack devices.Â The devices are either used as a storage facility or to launch attacks against others.
What Can the Average Person Do to Protect Themselves?
There are many steps the average person can take to protect themselves from common Internet security threats.Â A majority of Internet security risks can be minimized by combining well-known protection technologies and common sense.
Easy Internet Security Steps:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Keep all software up-to-date (use the auto-update feature whenever possible)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Use available technologies (anti-virus and anti-spyware software)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Donâ??t respond to or click on unsolicited emails
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Donâ??t open attachments in unsolicited emails
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Never enter personal information on a pop-up screen
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Only make online transactions if the web page is secure (look for https instead of http at the beginning of the web address)
A majority of Internet security risks can be minimized by combining well-known protection technologies and common sense.
Peter Henderson is a writer with an interest in various internet services and technologies such as VPNs for USA. His articles provide information on online security, privacy, and freedom.