WHAT IS CYBERCRIME REALLY?
The dark side of enjoying a border less internet plutopia is cybercrime. Cybercrime like crime itself is not a particular thing, but a blanket term. Just as there are countless ways to be a victim of crime, similarly there are countless ways of being a victim of cybercrime.
Just as you might lock your door, have security grills on your windows or have a car alarm. So should you try to have rock solid personal security for all your devices when on the net doing anything at all.
Some cybercrime is so breathtakingly sophisticated that seemingly harmless visits to innocuous websites on the public wifi of your favourite cafe can land you in a whole heap of trouble.
Personal security is a must have in a border less virtual world that is by far more wild than the old wild west. Topped off with a good dose of well-informed common sense your internet experience can be drama free.
Here we count down 10 top tips that should be considered to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.
10. Don't use security websites that insist you change your computers settings to read the website or insist that you download cookies.
It is wise to have a healthy sense of paranoia when interacting with strangers who will need your personal info to conduct business.
9. Beware of fake websites. If you need to place a deposit or down payment for a service using your credit card details then do a thorough check of the website owners.
Are they affiliated with governing bodies or associations? Do they have verifiable feedback? Easily clickable searches that can ensure legitimacy and help protect your details should become a good habit.
8. Passwords need to be strong by nature, but alarmingly many people do not have sufficiently strong passwords. Still using date of birth backward or the word password. Passwords need to be at least three words. They should include capitals, symbols and numbers.
Use a different password for all your security online. This could be twenty separate important passwords so there is plenty of room to have fun and be creative to help you remember them.
There are encrypted one-off password generators available that operate through your browser that are close to infallible through the use of brain damaging mathematical equations.
7. Never share your passwords with anybody. Although tempting do not write them down either. It is statistically more likely for an actual thief to break into your abode and steal the physical passwords you have written down than it is for a cyber criminal to penetrate a well-secured device and steal your password file.
If you must write them down, make sure it is in a personal code that makes the actual written phrases even more gibberish. It seems ridiculous for sure, but criminals go to unimaginable lengths to rip people off.
6. Be very malware aware. Clicking unknown links in emails or messages using an unprotected mobile device is inviting trouble. There is a misconception that the network provider or website host provides security so mobile devices remain safe - Untrue.
Antivirus precautions are just as important on mobile devices as home computers. Malware can infect your home or business network when syncing from an unknowingly infected mobile device.
5. It is hard to imagine that a naughty person might have the patience to cold dial a whole phone book. That, unbelievably, is what happens.
Cold calling criminals posing as tech support staff keep ringing number after number saying "They are returning the call made by you previously and are ringing to help you solve your problem."
Eventually they will hit on someone who has called for tech support. Personal details are then cunningly extracted from an unsuspecting victim under the innocent guise of computer maintenance.
4. Be responsible with your privacy on social media. Don't make facebook a facepalm by giving out personal details in your feeds. The same thing goes for tweets and quite sensibly all social media platforms.
Be sure to use in house privacy settings to their fullest extent to control with whom you interact.
3. With more computing power available than ever before and a host of brilliant graphic software for free on the internet criminals can now reasonably fake links to bank sites. Legitimate sites will usually have a padlock beside their url in the address bar.
Just to be doubly sure a bank will never ask you to do certain things.
-request your full pin or passwords by phone or email.
-personally visit your residence and request cards, cash or anything else.
-ask for your personal or banking details.
-ask you to use an app that is not the official banking app.
-email you a link where you must submit your details.
-ask you to carry out a test transaction online.
It is wise to treat most direct approaches by financial institutions as dubious.
2. Phishing is still and old favourite of hackers. The sophistication of the scams are increasing along with advances in computing technology.
It is getting easier and easier for phishers to imitate legitimate institutions.
Banks, financial houses, internet service providers, even the taxation office and other government departments.
1. Having fun, doing business, socializing or going to school.
The number one tip is to not be freaked out by cybercrime.
Surfing the net can be quite safe if you embrace practical and responsible, shrewd yet realistic web surfing habits. It would be very prudent to obtain inexpensive security software that can make you immune to malicious ambush.
IT IS NOT AS BAD AS IT SEEMS
It seems like everyone is out to get you in wicked wicked cyberland, but that isn't really true. Sure it can be dangerous, but technically so is crossing the road.
The interwebz are a wonderful place full of interesting people and amazing art. All the information that ever existed, every image ever created, all knowledge, available to everyone all of the time. And the gaming is epic.
Virus Direct will put any malicious threats by treacherous miscreants into security lock down on any device or network while you socialize or do business.
A little bit of sensible personal security is an inexpensive price to pay for the trouble free enjoyment of the wonders of this astonishing privilege.