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Cyber Fraud is On The Rise: How to Keep Your Money and Data Safe

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Cyber Fraud is On The Rise: How to Keep Your Money and Data Safe

The one thing you absolutely can’t ignore in the digital age is cyber fraud. The FBI’s internet crime report 2021 shows a 7% rise from 2020, giving insight into the increasing cybercrime.

In this guide, we will dive into the most common types of cybersecurity threats in the modern age and help you protect your information and devices.

Common Types of Cyber Frauds

It’s essential to learn about the current online threats as the more you know, the better you’d be able to steer clear of seemingly ‘harmless’ encounters, right?

Malware

Malware includes several types of attacks:

  • Spyware;
  • Ransomware;
  • Virus;
  • Worms.

Malware infects your device by tricking you into clicking a link or downloading a program (a TV show, a game, or free content). Once it infects your system, it can disrupt, manipulate, or hijack your device’s functions. Moreover, cybercriminals can use malware to steal, encrypt, or even delete your valuable data without your knowledge or permission. 

Phishing

Phishing includes sending emails to users disguised as being sent from a legitimate source. The email will contain a malicious link that will coax personal information out of you, including:

  • Passwords;
  • Credit card details;
  • Bank information.

Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) Attack

MiTM is a way an attacker intercepts a conversation between two users who thought they were having a private conversation. This eavesdropping allows them to pick up confidential information and cause further damage.

Brute Force Attack

Brute force attacks are among the most common types of cybersecurity threats online businesses and remote workers face. Essentially, it involves using a trial-and-error approach to guess login credentials with different alphanumeric and special character combinations. Hackers can also use this technique to find hidden web pages and encryption keys to accounts or software. 

7 Ways to Keep Your Money and Data Safe

If you fear cyber fraud, you’re not alone. According to Statista, one-third of the respondents felt at least one of their accounts was at risk of hacking. Fortunately, there’s been a rapid influx of new cybersecurity technologies, solutions, and practices to mitigate some of the risks, such as data encryption, artificial intelligence, multi-factor authentication, and behavioral analytics, to name a few. 

Here are a few tips you can follow to keep your data and money safe online:

1. Use a VPN

While many internet users are familiar with VPNs, only a few understand how they work. Meanwhile, others remain blissfully unaware of this innovative cybersecurity solution. If you’re about to Google search “What does VPN mean?”, let us save you the trouble. 

A VPN or virtual private network is a tool or service that encrypts your internet connection by hiding your IP address and data transmission. Essentially, it prevents unauthorized people from monitoring your online traffic, accessing your accounts, or stealing your valuable information. 

A VPN is especially effective against:

  • Man-in-the-Middle Attacks;
  • Remote Hacking;
  • Fake Wi-Fi Hotspot set up by hackers.

2. Don’t Click Random Email Links

Email threats rose by 7.3% in the second half of 2021. We get it’s easy to fall prey to an email link, but it’s just as easily avoidable. Whenever you receive an email, no matter who it’s from, take a good look to see how legitimate it seems. Also, type the URL manually in the address bar instead of clicking the email link.

How to spot sketchy emails:

  • Sketch emails ask for personal information (legit companies or banks don’t do that!);
  • Sketch emails may not address you by your name;
  • Sketchy emails often have spelling mistakes and grammatical errors;
  • Sketchy emails often have content filled with multiple links. (Never click on them!);
  • Sketchy emails usually contain fake business URLs.

3. Use Strong Passwords

Brute force hackers use easy passwords to get into your accounts, trying out multiple username/password combinations. Strengthen your password to make this a near-impossible task.

Tips for setting an impenetrable password:

  • Keep longer passwords, at least ten characters;
  • Avoid using the same password twice;
  • Regularly change your password;
  • Use an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number, and at least four symbols;
  • Use a password manager to remember complex passwords instead of settling for easy ones.

4. Install a Firewall and Ant-Virus Protection

Use Anti-virus (AV) protection software to fend off various malware attacks. Make sure you use a trusted brand to prevent data breaches. While most free antivirus solutions work to a certain extent, they usually only provide a bare minimum of security. 

By opting for a premium solution, you can close more security holes in your infrastructure and leverage more advanced threat detection and elimination techniques. 

5. Use Two-Factor Authentication

If you’re worried (rightfully so) about password hacking, use two-factor authentication (2FA) for an added layer of security. A 2FA system uses two factors to protect your accounts. This usually includes your password and something else, as follows:

  • Your fingerprint scan;
  • An authentication code that’s sent to your phone to allow entry to your account.

6. Stick to Your Own Device and Network

Avoid using public computers in the library, internet café, or any other place to access your accounts (personal or bank account). Also, steer clear of public Wi-Fi, as tempting as it may seem! These devices could have spyware attacks that will retrieve your data. Using public networks could expose you to hackers intercepting traffic. If you must use public Wi-Fi, make sure you use VPN.

7. Avoid Unofficial Apps and Shady Websites

We download several apps daily and never pay attention to what they are. You’d be surprised how many of these apps are fake, so it’s best to stick to official apps. The easiest way to do this is by looking for reviews and ratings on Google and other third-party sites. 

You can also check the site’s or app’s publish date. Fake pages or apps will have a more recent publish date, whereas authentic ones will show the last update date. Moreover, you also check if the site is HTTPS protected. Most fake ones are not. 

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