More and more of us are living our lives increasingly online. As such, we ought to be a lot more aware of the kind of risks that could be lurking for us online, too. While you might consider yourself savvy enough not to fall for obvious scams, you should be aware that cyber attacks can be somewhat sophisticated, too. Here, we’re going to look at some threats you should be aware of and what you can do to avoid them.
Perhaps the most basic and common form of attack of all is when malware finds its way onto your device. This can happen due to clicking a link you ought not to have, due to someone connecting infected outside media to your device, or sometimes even visiting an unsecured site with infected assets that your browser immediately downloads. Malware can do all kinds of damage to your device and the single best way to protect against it is with anti-malware software. Most computers come with decent anti-malware installed, but if you want true, up-to-date protection, then you might want to look at some premium options, too.
Social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails, rely on tricking individuals into revealing vulnerabilities. In a regular phishing scam, you might open up an email on your desktop, which is disguised to look exactly like a legitimate email from a service provider or organization that you know and receive communications from, which then asks for login details. Only, it’s a scammer you might end up providing those details too. To prevent such threats, it is essential to gain some cybersecurity awareness and to learn how to be able to judge the validity of any emails that you get.
While phishing attacks require you to get caught out by a scam, such as in your email inbox, spoofing can make the scam even harder to recognize. What is a spoofing attack? Simply put, it’s very similar to a phishing attack, but rather than being in an email or DM, spoofing scams tend to disguise themselves as websites or even software that you use, which can make it harder to realize when you’re even at risk of being spoofed. Many modern VPNs are able to identify spoofing websites for you, however.
A man-in-the-middle attack is when a hacker gets access to the connection between an internet user and another party that they’re trying to complete a transaction with, such as an online store. By getting into your traffic, they can gain access to all of the data that you’re sending and receiving, which can include financial details. VPNs, as mentioned above, can help reduce the risk of a MITM attack, but it’s worth noting that these attacks are most likely when you connect to a third party by using a public network instead of a private one, so you should be wary of those.
With the tips above, you should be able to get a much better idea of how, exactly, you can stay safe online.