Let’s face it, we all get lulled into a false sense of security when we don’t hear about major cyber security breaches in the news. As long as we update our anti-virus and don’t open unknown emails and don’t click on links from sources we don’t recognize we’re safe, right? Really nothing could be further from the truth. Hackers are always upping their game finding ways around and through holes in the system. These days they have even gotten quite good at creating links and sometimes emails that look convincingly real leading to websites that appear to be authentic.
Some of the things we don’t realize or think about is the fact cyber-crime still costs better than $100 billion annually on average whether we see it in front page news or not. This isn’t just large businesses and banks that are being breached, but everyday users and individuals are probably at even a higher risk. Anytime you have a connection to the internet through any device your data can be compromised.
Virtually all devices are vulnerable to costly attacks, but there are a few that are more susceptible than others. Devices that use Flash, Adobe Reader or Java can be more at risk than others due to software vulnerabilities. If your devices use any of these you want to make sure you stay up to date on the most recent releases and upgrades which may address some of these. We assume our antivirus will automatically keep us safe and have very little interaction with it. This isn’t always the case. It is always a good idea to run a manual check-up and make sure your antivirus is updating itself weekly.
The social media we all know and love can also create big opportunities for hackers. One of the most common tricks hackers will use is to create a dummy account of somebody with a large social network. This way the malicious links they send to social media appear to be coming from a trusted source. Be sure to check friend requests and links from friends before clicking on anything.
Any device that you own that connects to web pages or the internet makes you a potential target. Hackers may seem to be laying low and lurking in the background, but they are always hard at work finding ways to get your information. Make sure that you keep your antivirus software up to date and take proactive measures to keep your information safe. If you are yet to experience it, waiting until after the fact can be a nightmare and at times take years to recover from.