4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime

Published on :

  • PS4
  • PS5
  • XBox One
  • Series X
  • PC

According to recent studies, more than 800,000 people experience phishing attacks, data security breaches, and ransomware attacks every year. On a daily basis, this is around 2220 cyber-attacks and these are on personal and business accounts or organizations.

The number could even be higher considering not all these cases are reported. These cybercrimes and data breaches cause the loss of sensitive data and finances on a large scale. So, how can you protect yourself from such crimes? Read on.

4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime

What Cybercrimes Happen the Most?

Before delving into how to protect yourself, you must understand what cybercrimes are and how they operate. The term cybercrime refers to any criminal activity that targets or uses a computer, a networked device, or a computer network.

It could be your personal computer or company laptop. In this section, we will list some of the most common ones that people fall victim to.

  • Phishing: This happens when cybercriminals send fraudulent emails pretending to be from legitimate businesses. If you click on any links in the emails, the cybercriminals can get access to sensitive data and personal information. In other cases, the links redirect you to the scammers’ website. If this happens via an SMS, it is referred to as smishing.
  • Business Email Compromise: Commonly referred to as BEC, this is a phishing attack on a senior executive of an organisation. The exam is to make the senior executive transfer money or reveal sensitive information.
  • Harassment: Cyberstalkers or criminals use various systems to access you. It could be through email, social media, and websites to harass people. The harassment may include slander, false accusations, or threats.
  • Ransomware: cybercriminals may also install malicious software on your company or personal systems to hold you at ransom. For instance, they may hold or encrypt a company’s files until they are paid of a ransom.
  • Account Hacking: There is nothing as important as guarding your passwords. Cybercriminals may want to use your social media accounts for their fraudulent activities and this can be detrimental to you.

What Data Do I Need to Protect?

Most times, cybercriminals have a financial motivation. They want to use your data and information to defraud you. Some of the data you should protect include:

  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Social media profiles
  • Your usernames and passwords
  • Workplace logins and information
  • Financial data
  • Healthcare and insurance information
  • Sensitive photos and videos
  • Credit and debit card numbers

How Can You Protect Yourself Online?

Now that you know what cybercrimes want and how they operate, how can you protect yourself from such instances? While the internet is vast and lacks a foolproof protection system, here are a few ways to avoid becoming a victim.

1. Install Legitimate Antivirus on All Your Computer Systems

As long as you are dealing with a computer or internet-connected device, you need antivirus software. Go for premium services such as Norton. For instance, if you have just installed Windows 11, you need the proper antivirus for Windows 11.

The antivirus allows you to scan, detect, and remove threats before they can become actual problems. Remember to keep your antivirus updated at all times.

2. Check Your Passwords’ Strengths

Most sites, accounts, and systems require you to use your username and password to access. When choosing the password, ensure that you go for long and strong options so that they are hard to guess.

Avoid common ones such as 123456, 123123, and QWERTY among others. If you have used your date of birth or ID number as your password, consider changing it.

4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime

This goes without saying; trust no links on spam emails. Your email service has already categorised them as spam for a particular reason.

As mentioned above, one of the biggest cybercrimes involves phishing. Interacting with the content in the links or spam emails can give them access to your devices including installing malware.

4. Know What to Do In a Cybercriminal Instance

Apart from knowing how to protect yourself, you need to know what to do in case it happens to you. If you suspect that you are a victim of a cybercrime, report the issue to the relevant authorities.

If it has happened to your bank account, report it to your bank as well as the Federal Trade Commission. While it may have already happened, it will protect you and other internet users in future.