Cybercrime is a massive threat to Internet users around the world. Just ask President Trump, who called it the “fastest growing crime in the United States” just a few months ago. And one thing is sure – it definitely isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
You see, according to a recent PandaLabs report, more than 18 million new viruses were discovered and captured in the third quarter of 2016. This means that on a daily basis, we discover around 200,000 samples of new malware.
If you take a look at the raw data, you’ll easily see that data theft and ransomware attacks were the most-used cybercrime tactics last year. Moreover, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in DDoS attacks, interference with the IoT and a new kind of ransomware attacks that focused on iOS-powered devices.
And as we mentioned before, cybercrime affects users, worldwide.
For instance, according to the NCA of the United Kingdom, cybercrime currently makes up around 50% of all crimes committed in England. On top of standard infection techniques (like infection via spam) criminals are starting to use some modern techniques directed ad both businesses and regular citizens
So the biggest question on everyone’s mind is – what can we do to defend ourselves from cyber crime?
What Steps You Should Take to Protect Yourself?
Step 1: Start Using a VPN
Did you know that all of those public Wi-Fi networks you use on regular occasion are crawling with cybercriminals? For example, a free hotspot in your favorite coffee shop doesn’t offer any protection against hackers, and even an inexperienced criminal could easily access your device if he’s connected to the same network.
And that’s why you should use a Virtual Private Network to encrypt all of your incoming and outgoing mobile data, and stop those criminals in their tracks. Reliable, multi-platform VPNs like Express VPN (it compatible with both Android an iOS platforms) allow you to access any network you want, without worrying about anyone stealing your credit card or personal information.
Step 2: Get a Brand-Name Antivirus
Choosing an effective antivirus is easier said than done. But probably the most important thing you should worry about is whether or not the software you’re using has a real-time scanning engine. You see, this engine allows the antivirus to scan every file and app as soon as you download it and see if it’s infected or not.
And while you can find a ton of free antiviruses on the Internet, you have to make sure to check the test results run by some of the biggest names in the antivirus industry. Research labs like AV Comparatives and AV-TEST are well-known names in the industry, and will surely help you find the best name-brand antivirus solution for your device.
Step 3: Change Most of Your Passwords
Most of the people that have their online accounts hacked or private information stolen are responsible for their problems. That’s because a ton of people are still using weak passwords to protect their email and social media accounts. In fact, roughly 40% of people had an incident in the past, because of their weak password
According to a survey of more than 2,000 internet users by mobile identity company TeleSign, around 75% of them said they use one password across multiple accounts. This is simply unacceptable. If you don’t want to have your data compromised, start using complex passwords and make sure to change them regularly.
Step 4: Keep Your Browser and Software Up-to-date
Once it’s all said and done, no matter how much software you get, nothing will keep you completely safe if you keep ignoring those (admittedly, somewhat annoying) updates. We can’t stress this point enough and for a good reason.
As we said earlier in the article, every day, you and your device face more than 200,000 new malicious programs, so if you want your antivirus to protect you from all of these threats, it needs to be up-to-second. The same goes for browsers, because according to data from CVE detials, new vulnerabilities are discovered every day, and if you want to avoid zero-day attacks – keep your browser updated.
Some of the things we mentioned above will not cost you a dime. For instance, coming up with a secure password requires only a few minutes of your time and nothing else.
But, if you want to have top-notch security – you’ll have to spend some money.
A lot of people are already spending like crazy on cybersecurity.
As Gartner reports, this recent tide of crime has pushed cybersecurity spending to more than $80 million last year. What’s more, global spending on security products and services is expected to surpass $1 trillion over the next 5 years.
And as the world of the Internet of Things continues to expand, the digital attack surface will only continue to grow in next few years. Basically, cybercrime will probably become the greatest threat to every Internet user, so don’t wait until it’s too late – start protecting yourself as soon as you can.
Adam loves his job in web development and it shows from his articulate and informing articles published on wefollowtech.com. He lives in Dallas, loves his job, his friends and all the food in the world. Adam is 23, but still loves to play basketball like when he was 16.