Incidents of computer hacking continue to increase and cyber-security is considered as a top concern. Government officials, businesses and consumers often need to combat sophisticated and increasingly brazen digital attacks. Cyber-attacks are often aimed to steal data and sabotage systems. It is important for individuals to become much more vigilant. However, there are mistakes that could cause us to fall victim to various Internet crimes:
1. Poorly considered social media behaviors
Scam artists are usually adept in using available resources and social media to gain access and crack security codes. Over the past few years, breaches in social media continue to soar and it is important to be extremely careful in choosing proper online behavior.
2. Recklessly used social media accounts:
Social media accounts can be goldmines for hackers. Users need to avoid sharing information with people they meet online. As an example, they shouldn’t know about pet names, e-mail addresses and birth dates. Access to personal information should be limited to an inner circle of close friends and family members.
3. Debit cards for online transactions
We shouldn’t use debit card online. Hackers may steal some essential bits of data and make unauthorized charges that allow them to take money directly from our bank account. Even if the bank has acknowledged the theft, it will take weeks for them to restore the pilfered money. While challenging suspicious charges, we will not be out of cash if our credit card is compromised. Appropriate system should allow us to immediately spot unauthorized activities. Visa is known for its comprehensive credit card protection mechanism.
4. You trust questionable warnings
We may suddenly get warnings that our account is already breached. Hackers may ask us to verify our account in their fake website. Uninformed consumers could fall victim to this technique.
5. You don’t check links
Consumers are more vulnerable to click-jacking when they don’t check links that look harmless. By clicking links almost randomly, we could become more vulnerable to various kinds of malware. These nasty codes may invade our computer and transmit our personal information to malicious individuals.
6. You recklessly use any available Wi-Fi connection
Many people are eager to connect their laptops to free, high-speed Wi-Fi connections. But these hot spots often have poor security systems and some of them even don’t encrypt data sent online. Hackers could intercept data connection mid-air in the same area and discover our passwords and financial information. For more secure connection during mobile usages, it is preferable to use cellular networks, because it is nearly impossible for hackers to unscramble cellular transmission.
7. You trust all email messages
When receiving emails, we should look closely at all the embedded URLs. Anything labeled as “click here” may bring us to fake website. Hackers often create copycat websites that look similar to the genuine ones. Once we enter our password and username, hackers will be able to access our original account. Then may change the password or directly transfer money to their accounts. Instead of clicking on URLs in email messages, we should manually type the URL on web browser address bar. Any request to update our personal information shouldn’t be immediately trusted.
8. You use the same set of password continuously
It’s a mistake not to beef up our passwords. Each account should have different password and each password needs to be consisted of random letters, numbers and symbols. Security questions should be fictional, instead of actual, but easy for us to remember.
9. You use poor security software: Nearly all computers have embedded security software, including all the necessary anti spyware and anti virus program. We should also make sure that all programs are updated and running automatically.