7 Things to Know About Cyber-crime and What Will Keep You Safe Against It?

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By: Mila Bera

Since the beginning of humanity, every invention had both good and bad uses. The most significant and useful inventions were at the same time used for some of the greatest destruction.

Today, we enjoy the benefits of one of the latest great inventions – the Internet. It gives us so many opportunities, from business-related needs to everyday life necessities. The Internet is everywhere around us and makes our lives better. At the same time, it’s the place where cyber-criminals see a great opportunity.

In this article, you’ll be able to see some of the most important facts and cyber-crime statistics. Also, you can learn about how to protect yourself from cyber-criminals. 

1. If you connect to the Internet – you’re vulnerable

Cyber-crime never sleeps and it seems like no one is safe. The reason for this is because today’s way of life is almost completely internet dependent. Our desktop computers, laptops, smartphones are all connected to the Internet. In other words, if you’ve ever connected yourself to the Internet, chances are you’ve had experience with cyber-criminals. Now, you can’t really stay offline just to avoid hackers, but you can certainly invest in good antivirus software.

2. Cyber-crime is the fastest growing crime in the US

The crime with the most rapid growth rate in the US is without a doubt – cyber-crime. In a survey conducted by Statista, 32.7% of the surveyed said they experienced at least one hacker attack in their life. By the end of 2020, the cost of cyber-crime is going to surpass $6 trillion. One of the ways to protect your finances is to avoid logging into vital pages through public networks.

3. Using your personal laptop at work is the biggest threat to business safety

A lot of companies restrict their employees to bring their tech gear to work and connect it to the company’s network. Research showed that hackers see outside computers as the easiest way to breach the defenses of the company. Getting inside a person’s laptop and stealing information is one thing, but allowing the hackers to get corporate vital data can cost businesses billions of dollars. That’s why it’s best if you separate your private and corporate internet life and stay safe at both places.

4. Cryptocurrencies are among the most frequent targets

Cryptocurrencies are experiencing a rise in the last decade. When they first appeared, a lot of people thought there was no future for them. Today, more and more people are accepting them as a payment method. Even governments started experimenting with accepting them as a legitimate way to pay with. Hackers are stealing information from servers where people keep their cryptocurrencies. It’s like pickpocketing without even being close to the target. Make sure you change your password often enough and it is fairly strong so it is harder to be breached.

5. AI works both ways

Artificial Intelligence might be the most significant breakthrough of the 21st century. Even though its beginnings started a long time ago, only now we’re starting to see some real benefits from it. However, as mentioned above, if something has a great contribution to humankind, chances are big it will be used against it too. Hackers use AI for mimicking links, pictures, video, even whole pages to fool people into clicking the phishing links and making them reveal crucial information to the criminals.

6. Understand the difference between black-hat and white-hat hackers

When someone tells you they’re a hacker, ask them what kind. There’s a big difference between black-hat and white-hat hackers. The first ones are the bad guys, and the second ones are the good guys in the hacking story. Black-hat hackers have no ethics when trying to get inside systems, and they are doing it for personal benefit – financial most of the time.

White-hat hackers are experts in basically the same business, but they get paid for protecting the same systems criminals try to intrude.

7. Missing updates on your devices raises the risk of an attack

The average American uses over three connected devices during the day and owns over 7 that is not using at all times. All of these are connected to the internet. At the same time, for every single one of these tools, developers work around the clock to make their experience better. They create new versions and patches that users need to download so they can be as safe as possible. Missing these updates means you’re running on outdated systems and apps that make your devices vulnerable. 

How to protect yourself

The easiest and the best way to do it is by not logging into the Internet. Of course, this is not really possible because we depend on it in so many everyday situations. Experts say that there’s no way to be fully protected. You just need to accept this as a fact and report to the police every more serious crime you experience. 

However, to lower the chance of getting hacked, you should install quality antivirus programs, limit using public networks, change passwords often enough, using encryption, and being careful about what you click on the internet in general. 

Conclusion

Everything mentioned above gives you a clear understanding of how serious issue cyber crime is. Hackers are not choosing their targets, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an ordinary person with a regular job or a multi-million dollar corporation working for the US government. Everyone is a target for these guys. It’s up to the institutions to come up with a way to protect society, and when it comes to ordinary people, antivirus programs are the best option.