Many internet users consider themselves safe because they assume that cybercriminals only target large corporations or the very wealthy. If you find yourself falling into this misconception, now is the time to reconsider your stance. All Internet users are at risk of cybercrime, so all Internet users should learn how to protect themselves against online threats.
A look at cybercrime statistics from the last two years paints an alarming picture about online safety. Check out some sobering statistics that appear in a CSO article from security expert and author Josh Fruhlinger:
- The cost of phishing attacks is approximately $17,700 per minute
- Phishing attacks make up more than 80% of reported cybercrime
- In more than half of security breaches, there was a patch available for the vulnerability that the criminal exploited, but the user had failed to apply it
- The vast majority of malware (94%) is delivered by email
So how can you protect yourself against cybercrime? Cybersecurity expert Doug Hogue at Cloud Solutions, a division of the Eric Ryan Corporation, gave us the following tips to share:
- Always install software updates as soon as they are available. Updates frequently contain very valuable security patches—patches made in response to active threats.
- Use strong, unique passwords for every single account. It can be difficult both to come up with unique passwords and to remember them. We recommend employing a password generator and a secure password storage system—many internet browsers offer these or make them available as add-ons.
- Only connect to secure Wi-Fi networks. You should especially ensure that your home network is well secured.
- Be cautious about how you use your social media accounts. It can be tempting to allow outside apps access, but this is often how hackers get ahold of your information.
- Make sure that your family is on the same page when it comes to internet security. Consider creating a set of Internet safety guidelines to help your children understand what safe Internet usage looks like.
When it comes to staying safe online, there are a lot of factors and there are many threats of which you should be aware. Our last tip is simply that: be aware. Try to regularly read up on the latest threats and strategies employed by cybercriminals. Awareness can go a long way in protecting yourself against cybercrime.
If you have questions about potential cybercrime, please contact us.