Cybersecurity issues have risen to become a day-to-day struggle for the masses. While businesses and organisations have started to look closely into the matter, personal cybersecurity is neglected.
Cyber breach statistics are rising at an alarming rate, and the numbers alone are nothing less than shocking! In 2017 alone, around 17 million UK residents were victims of cybercrime, and the criminals had stolen £130 billion.
As our lives continue to revolve around using the internet in every aspect, cybercriminals are coming up with detrimental methods to intrude in our personal, daily, and professional lives.
A thorough dive into the dark web reveals just how much of our personal information is exposed online, just sitting there ready for anyone with the right means to exploit it. As our threat intelligence analysts dugout, a lot of personal data is readily available on the Dark web such as:
- Credit Card details
- Bank account details
- Phone numbers
- Social security numbers
- ATM pin
- Driver’s license details
- Email accounts and passwords
This information’s availability is primarily due to the apparent lack of attention individuals have towards personal cybersecurity. There are several types of cyberattacks people fall target to, such as:
These scams consist of bogus emails, phone calls, or text messages that dupe a person to reveal personal information. Phishing scams are designed to look legitimate, which allows them to find targets quickly. According to the Verizon Data Breach Report, one-third of all data breaches involve a phishing attack.
Credit Card Scams
A credit card scam is when a fraudster uses credit card information to buy unauthorised purchases or take out cash advances. These scams occur through insecure online shopping, specifically through fraudulent sites. The stolen credit card information is then found on sale on the dark web where criminals can buy them.
Another prevalent kind of cyber attacks, identity theft, is when a fraudster steals someone’s identity based on the personal information available for financial gain. According to statistics, 1 in 15 people become victims of identity theft. This theft is ever more common due to large amounts of personal information made available on the internet and unsecured internet connections.
Victims Through Social Media
Social media platforms are although deemed secure through a plethora of “privacy settings’ ‘however, a recent study from Stratecast states that 22% of their users have fallen victim to security-related incidents. Social media accounts have all types of information on a person. These accounts are often compromised by large-scale attacks such as the twitter hack or criminal exploits of these accounts by stealing authentication credentials.
Healthy ways to cybersecurity
Since using the internet is a core part of our lives, we can’t get up and start abandoning it. Therefore several methods can be used to ensure cybersecurity such as:
- Strong passwords: As most accounts are breached due to weak passwords, it is best to secure all accounts through strong passwords. These passwords should also be changed after every 2-3 months, and it’s best to not share them with anyone or repeat them.
- Enable two-factor authentication: Multifactor authentication is another way to showcase privacy. As it features additional authentication through either a biometric method or by receiving a personalised code on text/email, MFA ultimately reduces data theft chances.
- Use a VPN: Virtual Private Networks are software designed to provide online anonymity and security. A VPN connection anonymises users by changing the IP address and rerouting the data through a remote server that changes location. Along with that, VPNs further carry data into encrypted packets, efficiently hiding all the information from any prying eyes.
- Learn to spot a phishing attack: Phishing is one of the most popular cyberattacks, and the best way against it is human intelligence. Educate yourself and the people around how to spot a phishing attack and learn to steer clear. Also, as these attacks rely on duping and conveying false information, it is best to stay vigilant and not believe everything you see online unless it is from a reputable source.
- Share less on social media: Although social accounts can be secured through passwords and various settings, it is still smart not to share too much information. You never know when the whole server database faces a compromise like that with Twitter, and you become a victim, so it’s best to maintain strict privacy online.
Cybersecurity is a grave issue which is requiring immediate attention. Cybercriminals are always on alert to find an unsuspecting victim to exploit, and with the internet having dark places such as the Dark Web, falling victim to cyber-attacks can prove to be a significant loss. Therefore, despite what you use the internet for its best to be vigilant at all times and maintain good cybersecurity hygiene.