Cybercriminals steal identities by purchasing hacked social security or bank account numbers on the Dark Web. They may also hack into online accounts and steal your personal information directly. Common examples of ID theft include cybercriminals using a stolen social security number to file false tax (refund) returns or applying for unemployment using a person’s unemployment ID number.
Tips for preventing identity theft include:
- Use passwords containing a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. Never use the same password for all your personal online accounts
- Never share your bank information, social security number or birth date with someone online you do not know
- Make sure you have up-to-date firewalls and antivirus software installed on computer devices.
- Freeze any credit files you may have with Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. This prevents cybercriminals from gaining approval for utility services or credit card accounts in your name.
Ransomware is malware that infects and freezes computer systems. Unless a company pays the ransom requested, the hacker prevents that company from accessing data necessary for operations.
Email phishing is the most common method for infecting systems with ransomware. For example, a hospital administrator gets an email from a boss that looks and sounds genuine. The email instructs them to click on a link for some reason or another. Once the administrator clicks that link, ransomware immediately begins infecting the hospital’s computer system.
The best way to stop ransomware infections is to educate employees about cybercrime prevention so they can learn to recognize suspicious emails and links.
Advanced Persistent Threats
Larger organizations should always be on alert for APTs attempting to break into their networks. Hackers specializing in APTs will target one or two companies for extended periods by sending phishing emails or fake promotional ads infected with spyware. The purpose of an APT hacker is to remain undetected long enough to steal massive amounts of sensitive data. Preventing APTs involves installation of cloud, hardware and software firewalls and constant monitoring of systems by a risk management agency.
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack involves a hacker flooding a website with bot-controlled traffic and signals that eventually shuts down the site. Most DDoS attacks are meant to distract attention while they steal customer account information.
Preventing DDoD attacks starts with having digital risk management specialists evaluate and repair vulnerabilities existing within your system’s infrastructure.
Social Engineering Breaches
Examples of social engineering attacks include:
- Phishing emails
- Scareware (warning “ads” or pop-ups claiming your computer is infected or failing. Scareware directs users to click a link that is, in fact, infected with malware)
- Quid Pro Quo scam (pop-ups asking for personal information in exchange for a free item)
Maintaining internet privacy in a world teeming with ingenious hackers is far more difficult than it was 20 years ago. Get help from a digital risk management agency today to avoid being victimized by social engineering breaches and other types of cybercrimes.