Cyber-crimes are continuously on the rise, with more and more hackers posing serious threats not only to your financial information but also to your personal data.
One myth that prevails in the society is that the victims of cyber-attacks are only the organizations which have humongous data and sensitive business information. However, it is not the case in reality. The crimes of the virtual world are not limited to large organizations alone. Today, when the internet has become the lifeline for most of the individuals, the probability of you, an individual, becoming the victim of cyber-crimes has greatly increased.
What are some cyber-crimes that can potentially harm an individual?
Whether you believe it not, but there are more ways than you can imagine that can harm you in the cyber world. Hackers spare no loophole to plunge an attack on your system. Some of the major cyber-attacks that you should be wary of are – Identity theft, IT theft loss, Phishing attacks, Email-spoofing, malware attacks, social media liability, cyber extortion, cyber stalking, privacy and data breach by third party.
These cyber-attacks can harm you financially, socially and might cause mental harassment due to sexual exploitation, bullying and extortion threats.
While you can get coverage against the financial losses incurred by you, by buying an adequate cyber insurance policy, you should follow the best cyber security practices for safeguarding our social presence in this digital world.
How can you avoid being the victim of cyber-attacks?
There are a few best cyber security practices that you should follow so that you are safe while being social online and while doing transactions or any other online activities.
- Manage your social media accounts
Since the outset of social media, most of you must have created your accounts on various social networking sites. These platforms give you options to upload your personal details like your photographs, email IDs, educational details, relationship status, travelling details and more. Cyber-criminals can hack these details and cause fraud in your name or harass you by demanding money or other inappropriate favors.Thus you should properly manage the privacy settings of all your social media accounts and disable an unknown person from accessing it.
- Use strong passwords
While most of you use simple passwords such as your date of birth or the combination of your name and anniversary date, you give the hackers a very easy opportunity to access your account illegitimately.You should strengthen the security of your system and various accounts by using a strong and unique password for them. A strong password is usually a combination of 10 letters (capital and small), symbols, numbers, and special characters. You can also use password management applications to keep your passwords safe.
- Never share your passwords
No matter how close you are to someone or how urgent your task is, never ever share your password with anyone. Sharing your password can give unauthorized access to cyber-criminals, which makes all the sensitive information readily available to them. They can use your personal details to extort money from you or misuse this to commit fraud and cause social embarrassment to you.
- Change your passwords frequently
It is understandable that it might be a little difficult to remember the latest passwords, but it is better to change your passwords at regular intervals than to become the victim of cyber-attacks. Make sure that you do not follow a fixed pattern when you change your password. Also, use different passwords for different user accounts that you access from your different devices.
- Update your software
You should regularly update the anti-virus software so that it is ready to protect your system from the latest cyber-attacks. It is best advised that you never skip these updates and put them on snooze. Any delay in updating your software can compromise the security of your system and expose it to potential cyber threats like malware attacks.
- Check your emails thoroughly
Email spoofing is one of the major cyber-attacks that is difficult to identify. Cyber-criminals modify the header of the email that they send to make it appear as if coming from a legitimate source. However, when you open such a mail and click on any of the links, you unknowingly provide your private data (password, account number etc.) to the hackers.You can read about the ways to identify and dodge email-spoofing in our article – “How to Identify a Spoofed Message and Dodge it Like a Pro?” on our blog – Demystify Insurance.
- Manage your data
You should back up your files periodically. You can maybe set a reminder to remind you about taking the backup. By taking this precaution, you can minimize the damage a cyber-attack can cause to your system. Another way to protect your files is to use encryption algorithms so that it is not vulnerable if there is a cyber-attack.