You’re not safe, even if you’re just sitting at home browsing the internet. We live in a dangerous world. This holds true both online as well as offline. Cybercrimes – crimes committed on computers – are on the rise.
According to telegraph.co.uk, cybercrimes now account for 50% of all crimes happening in the UK. Cybercrime damages are all set to exceed $6 trillion by 2021. We expect 2020 to be the year cybercrime reaches an all-time high.
We’ll give you an overview of the top 4 threats you can expect to face in the near future. By learning more about said threats, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
- Mobile-based threats are on the rise
Did you know that over 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily? Also, anyone can visit a website such as cellphonetracker.net to learn how to track your phone for free?
Mobile phones are a crucial part of our lives and we use them everywhere. But because we use phones so often, they make a tempting target for hackers. And these days, you don’t even need technical knowledge to hack someone’s phone.
Here’s how to keep yourself safe:
- Download apps only from trusted sources.
- Don’t read messages sent by strangers.
- Keep updating your phone and apps.
- Have you heard of phishing, sumishing, and vishing?
No, we aren’t talking about a fancy form of fishing here. “Phishing” is the practice where a criminal cons someone out of their personal information online. The criminal assumes a fake identity to trick the target. This personal information is used to steal the target’s money.
“Smishing” is stealing someone’s personal information via text messages (SMS). “Vishing” is the practice of stealing someone’s info via a phone call.
Protect yourself by taking these precautions:
- Verify someone’s identity before you exchange personal information.
- Don’t read SMS messages received from unknown numbers.
- Don’t reveal personal information to anyone over the phone. Instead, insist on a face-to-face meeting.
Hackers can block off access to your data and hold it for “ransom”. Think of it as a criminal kidnapping your data. You only get it back if you pay them some money. And no, trying to “decrypt” ransomed files is extremely difficult.
Ransomware is a serious threat worldwide. Even the government hasn’t been spared. According to tampabay.com, two cities in Florida paid over $1 million recently to hackers to get their data back.
Ransomware can also affect you. Here are some basic precautions:
- Use a reputable anti-virus program and firewall.
- Don’t download files from unknown sites online.
- Keep your operating system, like Windows, updated.
- The AI vs. AI battle
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming widespread. It’s being used in computers as well as mobile phones for better customer service and fast data processing. But because AI is still so new, it doesn’t have tight security.
Hackers are using AI to launch attacks against, ironically, AI-based systems. And cybersecurity experts themselves are using AI-based systems to counter hackers. It would be funny if the threat wasn’t real.
What can you do? You probably won’t encounter an AI-based attack personally, unless you work in a big company. Hackers generally only spend resources on fat targets. It’s hard to protect against AI threats, but you can take some precautions:
- Use anti-virus software, as many AI attacks are sent out via malware.
- Use only secure networks.
- Use sandboxed
People in power are aware of the threat. Governments and enterprises worldwide will spend $1 trillion combating cybersecurity threats from 2017 to 2021. You, personally, can keep yourself and your data safe by taking the basic precautions outlined above.