One of the joys that we experience in our modern society is the technology that we have access to. The incredible advancements over the years mean that we can do just about anything with devices that we have in our own homes. Through laptops, smartphones, and tablets, we can have access to entertainment, get in touch with people anywhere in the world, and even work from home.
While these benefits bring us a lot of comfort and convenience, they come at a cost. The price that we pay is sometimes more than just the costs of buying and maintaining these devices. Cybercrime has been something to be concerned about for many years, but it’s been overlooked by many people. If you’re one of those who have overlooked cybercrime over the years, you should consider learning more about it.
Cybercrime is becoming more frequent, which means that learning about it is more important than ever before, and we’re going to tell you exactly why that is. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about modern-day cybercrime and how you can keep yourself and your devices protected from these virtual threats.
The Reasons Behind the Spike
Looking at the recent figures it is clear that there has been a massive increase in cybercrime, specifically over the past five years. If one thing is certain, it’s that cybersecurity is more important now than it has ever been before. There’s too much risk involved in leaving your devices exposed, burying your head under the sand, and believing that you won’t fall victim to a cyber attack.
So why this sudden spike in the frequency of cyber-attacks all around the world? Two main reasons have directly contributed to this increase in cybercrime, but at the end of the day it comes down to an increase in screen time amongst the general population which gives cyber criminals more opportunities to successfully attack a victim’s device.
The first reason why cybercrime has become more common is simply that more people own some form of device. Whether it’s a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you’re bound to find at least one of these devices in just about every household. On top of that, more and more devices and being bought every day, and not everyone is clued up about cybercrime and the risks that they face online, so they are more likely to fall for the traps that cybercriminals have set out for them,
The second reason why there has been a sudden spike in successful cyberattacks is because of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the world going into lockdown, many people found themselves stuck at home. Without being able to go outside, people would need to keep themselves entertained, and the best way to do so is by using their devices to watch Netflix, browse social media, or simply surf the internet. Many people also had to start working from home which meant spending time on Zoom calls, reading and replying to emails, and doing research on the internet.
Both of these factors have contributed to an increase in screen time, and with many people overlooking the dangers that they face when it comes to cybercrime, it’s no surprise that we have seen this sudden increase in cyberattacks.
The Most Common Form of Cybercrime
Cybercrime can come in many different forms, but by far the most common type that you would come across is phishing. Phishing has been around for decades — ever since the dawn of the internet age.
In its most basic form, phishing is when a cybercriminal sends a fraudulent email to the victim, urging them to interact with a link or attachment in the email. Once they interact with the attachment malicious software will be installed on their device. The malware (as it’s known for short) can be installed on your device in the background, so you might not even know about it being on your device until it’s too late.
If the victim clicks on the link, one of two things can happen. Firstly, malware can be installed on the victim’s device, and secondly, the victim can be directed to a fake website that has been set up by the cybercriminal. The website will be rigged with a keylogger that can copy everything that the victim types into the website and give it straight to the cybercriminal — this can include things like login credentials and banking details.
Phishing has developed over the years and it has become much more difficult to spot. Hackers have started using social engineering to trick their victims into interacting with phishing scams. Social engineering is when the cybercriminals pose as a person or company that the victim might know and trust, which means that they are much more likely to interact with the phishing email.
Phishing has also grown beyond basic emails. Hackers have started using social media to trick their victims into interacting with links and attachments through direct messages and social media posts. Hackers can also sometimes hide their fraudulent links online. Remember, links can be disguised as images and icons, so if you’re browsing the internet you could accidentally click on a fraudulent link.
How to Stay Safe Online
To keep yourself safe while you’re online, you need to use premium cybersecurity tools. There are many to choose from, so most people feel overwhelmed when they start looking into which ones they need to be used.
However, a good place to start is premium antivirus software. Antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any viruses, and the software can remove them from your device too. You should invest in antivirus software that is capable of scanning your emails, websites, and any links you come across to make sure that they are legitimate. This will prevent you from falling victim to phishing scams. If you’re travelling you should look into a premium VPN to make sure that your connection is always secure, and if you struggle to keep track of your strong and unique passwords you should look into a premium password manager.