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In this 21st century, asking people to live without the internet and internet-enabled gadgets and appliances is almost impossible. Our lives today are inexplicably entwined and reliant on these gadgets. Compared to two decades ago, we are a lifetime ahead in terms of technological advancements. We can bank and shop online, we communicate via social media sites, and lots more.
With all these advancements, there is terrible news- hackers are more aggressive than ever. Digital threats of the 21st century are nothing like the worms or Trojan horses of yesteryear; they are more sophisticated. Therefore, although antiviruses are still relevant and essential, they are not enough to secure all your devices.
Here are some of the cyber-risks facing we are facing in 2020:
Ransomware is more rampant than most people are aware of. Hackers use technologies that allow them to take your devices and data hostage by encryption until you part with the amount they demand. The payment is usually in Bitcoin as the payment is anonymous and untraceable.
Phishing is as old as the internet, and yet millions of people still get conned. Phishing involves carefully crafted emails that dupe people into thinking they are from legitimate sources such as banks. The emails come with a link or attachment that installs malware or leak sensitive information. The more sophisticated phishing involves hackers using machine learning to craft more convincing messages, hoping people will get duped and inadvertently compromise their data.
Cryptojacking involves the hijacking of third party devices to mine for cryptocurrency. Mining cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin from victims needs significant processing power and hackers getaway by covertly piggybacking on third party systems. Cryptojacked business systems cause severe performance issues and downtime.
Effective Security tools
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Some tools can effectively secure your devices and mitigate attacks from cybercriminals. These include:
1. Installing a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the best ways to secure your data and devices against cyber threats. A VPN creates a tunnel that allows your devices to surf the internet safely. It encrypts all your data using the AES-256, one of the most robust encryption standards used by banks and security agents. It also hides your location and your IP address from hackers who might be lurking in the shadows trying to steal data. When logging into the internet in public places such as coffee shops or airport lounges, you are at a very high risk of being hacked. A VPN removes this risk factor when it hides your location and places you in a virtual location.
2. Vulnerability Scanner
Vulnerability scanning involves the inspection of any potential loopholes on your devices or network that hackers might exploit. The scan detects any weaknesses in your devices and gauges whether your security measures will have the desired effect.
3. Anti-spyware software
Spyware snoops on your activities on the internet, and hackers can see what you are typing on your device, including passwords or usernames. Anti-spyware is brilliant software that detects and rids your device of any threats such as keyloggers.
4. Email Security
Email security involves any procedure that protects your email content and mitigates any access by unauthorized individuals. For many email providers, it is standard to put in place security procedures for securing their clients’ email accounts. These procedures include strong and unique passwords and email servers containing access control mechanisms, email encryption, web app firewalls, and special spam filters.
As we edge closer to the close of the decade, cybercriminals are more rampant now than they were at the start of the decade. Technology is very fluid, and today’s trend will be obsolete in less than a year, or it will have morphed into something completely different.
The methods hackers use today are much more sophisticated than a decade ago, which means that you have to continually keep your guard up to protect your data from theft. While anti-virus is still critical in 2020, it still is not enough to protect your devices from the various cyber threats out there. Vigilance, avoiding clicking on links or downloading attachments, and the use of security tools will go a long way in ensuring you keep your devices safe.