As consumers share more data with companies and apps, they face increasing security risks. Find out how to stay safe so you don't become the next victim of a cyberattack.
The Top 10 Security Risks Facing Consumers Today
It seems like every day, we hear about a new data breach or cyberattack. Consumers are increasingly worried about the security of their personal information, and for a good reason, as the risks are real and growing. Here are the most common security risks facing consumers today:
- Phishing: Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated, as hackers use machine learning to craft and distribute effective fake messages quickly. These attacks can lead to the theft of user logins, credit card credentials, and other sensitive information, as well as access to private databases.
- Malware: Malware, or malicious software, is designed to harm computers or devices. Malware can be used to steal personal information, take control of devices or even delete files.
- Identity Theft: Guard.io says that Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. This can lead to financial losses and damage to your reputation.
- Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware designed to collect information about you without your knowledge or consent. Spyware can track your online activity, gather sensitive personal data and even take control of your device.
- Viruses: A virus is a type of malware that can replicate itself and spread to other computers or devices. Viruses can damage files, slow down your device or even delete data.
- Adware: Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer or device. Adware can be intrusive and annoying and can sometimes lead to malware infections.
- Trojans: A Trojan is a type of malware that disguises itself as a legitimate program or file to trick users into downloading it. Once installed, Trojans can allow hackers to access your device or information.
- Keyloggers: A keylogger is a software that records keystrokes. Scammers can use this information to steal passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.
- Rootkits: A rootkit is a type of malware that allows hackers to gain access to your device or computer without your knowledge. Rootkits can be challenging to detect and remove and give attackers complete control over your system.
- Social Engineering: Social engineering is an attack in which hackers use deception to trick users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware. Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including phishing emails, fake websites, and bogus tech support calls.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Security Risks
Use a reputable security solution: A good security solution can protect you from many threats listed above. Keep your security software up to date to ensure that you have the latest protection.
Be aware of the signs of an attack: Some attacks, such as phishing attacks, can be difficult to spot. Be on the lookout for strange emails or websites that ask for personal information. Don't click on any links or download attachments if something seems suspicious.
Never give out personal information: Hackers often use social engineering techniques to trick users into revealing sensitive information. Never give out your passwords, Social Security number, or credit card number to anyone online or over the phone.
Keep your software up to date: Software updates often include security fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities. Be sure to install all updates as soon as they are available.
Use strong passwords: Strong passwords are long, unique, and not easy to guess. Avoid using easily guessed words like password, your name, or day of birth. Choose a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
Don't click on unknown links: Links in emails, posts, and websites can sometimes be malicious. If you don't know where a link goes, don't click on it.
Be cautious of public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and can be used by hackers to access your device or data. If you must use public Wi-Fi, be sure to use a VPN to protect your information.
Back up your data: Regularly backing up your data can help you recover from a malware infection or other attack. Be sure to store your backups in a safe, offline location.
Monitor your activity: Keep an eye on your credit card and bank statements for unauthorized charges. Check your credit report regularly for any alert of fraud. And monitor your online activity for strange or unusual behavior.
Contact a professional: Contact a computer security professional immediately if you suspect that a scammer may have attacked you. They can help you determine what happened and how to protect yourself in the future.
Educate yourself: Staying up-to-date on the latest security threats can help you protect yourself from attacks. Be sure to follow trusted sources of information and avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
Be sure to take steps to protect yourself from these threats by using a trusted security solution and being aware of the signs of an attack. If you suspect that you may be a victim of these attacks, contact a professional immediately.