In this digitised world, it’s easy to fall prey to cybercrimes. Cyber fraud crimes usually target individuals and businesses for the purpose of illegally acquiring monetary gain or confidential information. As per reports by Mint, 59% of Indians have been a victim of some kind of cybercrime over the last year. The ever-expanding digital world and its users have increased the scope and number of cyber crimes exponentially, rendering the average individual defenceless and vulnerable; helpless at the hands of cyber attackers.
Safeguarding your digital life requires a vigilant and proactive approach. Awareness of various types of cyber crimes such as phishing, malware, account takeover fraud, social media fraud, and DDoS attacks not only helps in safeguarding but also helps in prevention. Here are a few ways to safeguard and protect your digital life against various types of cybercrime:
Phishing generally involves correspondences in the form of emails and messages that contain fake invoices, password resets, and login attempts amongst many others from trusted acquaintances and known businesses. This email compromise allows cyber attackers to gain personal and sensitive information. In order to protect yourself against phishing, be cautious while opening correspondences containing spelling errors, suspicious links, unfamiliar attachments, unnatural logos, and requests for personal information from unknown sources.
Malware refers to viruses designed to damage and disable your software; allowing the cyber attacker to gain access to your data and gain control of your electronic device and extort the victim for a ransom in exchange for data. In order to prevent the installation of malware on your device, download an anti-virus software, avoid visiting unverified and untrustworthy sites and downloading any files from them. Additionally, regularly back up your data on hard drives and cloud sites to avoid paying any ransoms.
Also known as ATO, this cybercrime involves the attacker gaining access to bank account details and credit card information; resulting in money laundering in the victim’s name. Account Takeover Fraud usually occurs during online shopping and financial transactions. In order to safeguard yourself against ATO and other similar types of ponzi schemes, use secure and reputable sites with ‘https’ while conducting any financial transactions. Further, review your credit card and bank statements regularly and promptly to check for any unauthorised transactions.
There are many kinds of social media frauds including stealing an individual’s identity or identity theft through their pictures posted on social media or making fake profiles to befriend and catfish innocent people to scam them for money or malicious purposes.
To evade such social media frauds, check and update your privacy settings on social media platforms regularly and activate two-factor authentication, which makes it harder for hackers to access your accounts. Additionally, be cautious of brand new accounts with few followers, don’t connect with strangers and unsolicited messages, and keep a private account.
DoS Attacks, or denial of services attack, is when cyber attackers make a service temporarily unavailable, and disrupt the services on a website via an overload of Internet traffic; consequently leading to dissatisfied customers and revenue loss.
Websites should have a robust in-built firewall to protect themselves from DDoS attacks and regularly check for security vulnerabilities and weak spots. Further, businesses should prepare a DDoS response plan, and look out for warning signs through continuous monitoring. Warning signs include unusual traffic coming from a small or single group of IP addresses, poor connectivity, and a spike in website users with a common demographic profile.
Cyber fraud is an ever-evolving threat that requires constant vigilance and proactive measures. By following the tips outlined in this blog and staying informed about the latest trends, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to cybercriminals. Remember, awareness and prevention are key to safeguarding your digital life. Stay alert, stay informed, and stay safe in the digital realm