Cybercrime refers to any instance of a crime that takes place primarily online and features criminals targeting their victims through digital networks. Cybercrime rates have grown significantly and it is always beneficial that one has a basic idea of what constitutes cybercrime and how one can protect themselves from it. Instances of cybercrime may include cyber stalking, cyber bullying, identity theft, exploitation, harassment or hacking into someone’s personal or professional accounts. Listed below are a few things that one can do to protect themselves from cyber crime:
1. Perform an internet privacy audit
You need to get an internet privacy audit performed for yourself from a firm like Internet Privacy. Such an audit essentially involves the use of advanced search engine marketing tools to find, assess and remove all of your own personal information that may be present online due to your past internet activity. This also involves an active search and eventual purge of any personal information that may show up online.
2. Use software to protect yourself
You need to install and use an internet security suite that provides you protection from all sorts of existing and new viruses, malware, ransomware and any entity that can be a threat to your online identity. Such software helps you identify websites that are unsafe to visit, and allows you to keep safe financial information whenever you may indulge in an online transaction. Also, all such software should be regularly updated for added security and protection.
3. Have strong passwords
Having strong passwords and changing them regularly is key to ensuring that you remain safe from cybercrime upto a great extent. Make sure that any passwords you have are difficult to guess, complex, and feature alphanumeric characters and other symbols. You should also ensure that you do not have the same password for multiple platforms.
4. Turn on two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication in combination with strong passwords helps you keep hackers at bay. Every personal and professional account you use should feature two-factor authentication, and it essentially means that in addition to providing your password, you would have to provide another proof of identity. This other proof of identity could be an OTP sent to your email or mobile phone, or a facial scan, or a fingerprint depending on the medium you use.
5. Do not open attachments from unknown senders
Emails from unknown senders and emails that are spam should always be checked cautiously. Users should never under any circumstance open attachments or links from such emails because they could possibly lead to infecting your system or device with viruses and other malware or ransomware. Be vary of unknown senders asking you for your personal details no matter how common the details they ask may be.
6. Be mindful of the websites you visit
Certain websites and URLs that may seem legitimate are essentially fake and bogus websites posing as legitimate ones to obtain your personal and financial information. This information may later on be used by criminals to steal your identity or abuse you financially. Hence, any website that you visit and enter information into should be double-checked by you for its legitimacy.
7. Monitor your bank statement
Sometimes hackers steal your financial information and only make small dents in your finances regularly to go unnoticed and compromise your account on a longer basis. Hence, to ensure that you spot any unusual activity in your financials that your bank may not have caught on to, you should regularly check your bank statement and investigate any transaction that seems fraudulent.
While cybercrime may go unnoticed by many individuals and they may underwhelm its occurrence, every individual should realize that instances of cybercrime are much more complex and dangerous that we generally think them to be. Hence, individuals should take all possible measures to keep themselves safe.