Have you been a victim of Cyber Crime? Before you say, “No,” think again. Many people have received emails informing them that they have inherited a large sum of money. The person sending you the email probably said that they need your bank account number to send you the money. Sound familiar? If you were foolish enough to send your bank account number, your account would be empty.
What is Cyber Crime? Any illegal activity done using a computer is Cyber Crime. It often includes activities such as phishing schemes such as the email mentioned above and viruses.
Scammers often use email to trick a person into giving them their personal information such as Social Security numbers, passwords, and bank account numbers. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, people in the United States have lost as much as a total of $30 million to scammers in just one year.
Cybercriminals can use viruses to attack you. They can use malware to steal your information or they can hack into your accounts or your computer.
There are ways you can protect yourself from Cyber Crime. Perhaps one of the ideas listed in this in-depth article will be of assistance to you.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime
- Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, and Anti-Malware Software – Anti-virus software can protect not only your computer but also all your mobile devices from malware. This software will keep you safe from cybercriminals, hackers, and online threats. The importance of this software continues to grow due to the growth of cybercrime.
- Vary Passwords – If you always use the same password for all your different sites, you make it easy for cybercriminals to get into your sites. You can try using clever variations of a password or you can keep a private file of your passwords. Your passwords should be at least eight characters in length and be a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters.
- Ignore Pop-ups – If a pop-up asks you for your username or password, ignore it. If you want to go to a site, use your browser and go directly to it. If a company is reputable, they will never ask for login information in an email.
- Install a Firewall – Consider the best options for a firewall to keep your computer safe
- Shop Only at Secure Sites – Before you enter your credit card details, always make sure your browser is showing the locked padlock key symbol. Shop only at reputable sites.
- Be Cautious with Your Credit Card Details – When asked to store your credit card details at a site, don’t do it. Why risk your credit card details being stolen? It only takes 90 seconds to key them in.
- Encrypt Important Data – You should encrypt the data stored on your computer and smartphone. If you do this, the only thing a hacker can get from your files is gibberish. This is because encryption translates the information you’ve gathered about your customers into a code. Only you and your employees know the code, and, therefore, can read the information. To hackers, the information is unintelligible since they don’t know the code.
- Be Cautious When Using Public Wi-Fi – You can encrypt all your internet traffic through the use of a Virtual Private Network, a VPN. This will make it difficult for hackers to spy on you. There is a wide range of both free and paid VPN options for you to choose.
Advantages of a Virtual Private Network
- A VPN Disguises Your IP address – This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to trace your activities. Your VPN does this by fooling others into thinking you went onto the internet from a server located in a different country or gateway city. Therefore, your actual IP address is hidden along with your location and online activities.
- A VPN removes the risk of using a public Wi-Fi – A VPN does this by encrypting your traffic on the internet into packets that encapsulate data. This action allows you to create a private network within a public Wi-Fi. This protects your data and makes it impossible for anyone to hack your private information keeping it private.
- A VPN network can be used over any network – Your VPN service can be set up on your device to work on any network such as one at your home or work. When you’re traveling, it can also be set up to work on any Wi-Fi hotspots. Because of this flexibility, you will have both greater privacy and peace of mind.
- A VPN can be used on any device – A VPN can be used on laptops, computers, smartphones, or any mobile device. You can connect under one service plan to several devices. This will lower costs.
There are many ways you can protect yourself from cybercrime such as by using unique passwords, ignoring pop-ups, installing a Firewall, shopping only at secure sites, being cautious with your credit card details, encryption, and avoiding public Wi-Fis.
However, it seems that a VPN has many advantages that keep you safer than most other ways.