Cybercrime is criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. Most, but not all, cybercrime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers who want to make money. Cybercrime can also be carried out by individuals or organizations. Some popular forms of cybercrimes involve committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy. There are, however, a few forms of cybercrime that target primarily businesses. PHISHING SCAMS
Phishing is the use of email or malicious websites to solicit personal information from an individual or company by posing as a trustworthy organization. Phishing attempts often arrive in the form of an email but also can arrive as a text message (called SMiShing) or voicemail (Vishing). Recognition and avoidance are the best defenses against phishing attacks. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to never click on links or attachments in emails until you verify the sender. Call your friend or the company using a known, valid phone number or website address first.
Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. A wide variety of malware types exist, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, and scareware. Cybercriminals typically use it to extract data that they can leverage over victims for financial gain. Different types of malware can wreak havoc on your devices in different ways, from remotely controlling your computer to spying on your keystrokes to even stealing personal documents or information saved on your device. Malware attacks typically lead to larger breaches of personal information, online account credentials, and more. ONLINE CREDENTIAL/PASSWORD BREACHES
Helping to prevent a credential breach starts with using strong, unique passwords for your various accounts. Do not share these passwords or save them to a public computer. Never use the same password for banking as you do for other non-financial sites, such as social media or email. Consider using a dedicated computer for banking versus other day-to-day functions to lessen the chance of a computer breach, leading to the theft of your online banking credentials. DEBIT/CREDIT CARD FRAUD
Online shopping coupled with the rise in cybercrime has increased the amount of cyber fraud seen today. The most unfortunate part about technology evolving is that we are more likely to save our credit card information to our devices and use them to make purchasing items and services much easier. This however presents an ever-present risk of having your valuable card information stolen by cyber thieves and used to make unauthorized purchases, decreasing your funds to little to nothing, or even possibly ruining your credit score. It’s important to remember that there are multiple ways this type of cybercrime could take place, including entering your card number on a fake website, using public Wi-Fi where a hacker may be lying in wait, or a breach on a business’ internal payment system. IDENTITY THEFT
Due to the increasing use of computer networks and electronic data sharing, accessing consumers’ personally identifiable information is getting easier for cybercriminals. The easiest way to help protect yourself from identity theft is to monitor your accounts and credit reports diligently, change your account passwords regularly, and enroll in email alerts to confirm transactions on your accounts are legitimate. If you notice suspicious activity, you should report it to the proper authorities immediately. If you would like more information on how you could better protect yourself and your valuable information, please call us today!