Several individuals and organizations prefer privacy over convenience in the modern digital world.

Sure, most of us appreciate those one-click saved passwords, sign-outs, and the technological autopilot mode but all of these modern luxuries may also steer us to all kinds of wrong. Even though most computer users are cautious not to answer questions that could result in them spilling information about themselves, hackers and cybercriminals only need a small sliver of unchecked security to slip in.

The convenience of autopilot technologies helps computers with malicious intent steal millions of dollars from individuals and companies all over the world. Don’t believe us? Well, we’re about to prove it to you by listing the top 5 most prevalent cybercrimes in the world and how you can protect yourself from them.

1.  Phishing Scams

A PhishMe study found that 91% of successful cyberattacks begin with a sense of urgency, curiosity, and fear as people with malicious intentions entice users to click on links or enter their personal data.

Phishing emails tend to mimic messages of people you may know or the brands that you already trust. These emails are designed to entice computer users to give up their personal information or perhaps click on malicious links to download.

The FBI found that phishing attacks were the most prevalent cybercrime in 2020. In fact, phishing incidents had almost doubled from 114.702 attacks to 241,324.

How to Prevent Phishing Scams

The short answer here is to stop blindly trusting your mail. Your emails aren’t always what they seem.

To prevent phishing scams, you need to offer phishing training and security awareness to empower your team and defend yourself against attacks. This can be done by showing them all the telltale signs of malicious emails and teaching them how to spot malicious links and phishing campaigns.

Instead of opening attachments and links, computer users and employees should manually type links in browsers.

2.  Website Spoofing

Spoof literally means to deceive, trick, or hoax. Website spoofing is primarily done by designing websites to look exactly like legitimate websites. People with malicious intent do so because they would like to gain the trust of internet surfers and gain access to their systems to steal personal information or money or spread malware.

Generally, spoofed websites are used along with email links to lead people to illegitimate websites. If you think no one in this day and age would fall victim to website spoofing, you should know that website spoofing had caused $1.3 billion worth of losses in 2019 according to Thales Access Management Index.

How to Prevent Website Spoofing

To prevent website spoofing, the easiest thing to do is to ignore and delete all the emails you aren’t anticipating. If it is a legitimate company, they will have numerous ways to get in contact with you if they want to reach you.

You should save yourself from wasting time with the help of some common sense and by evaluating how urgent emails are. Alternatively, you can also pick up your phone and call the number of the trusted domain to be completely sure.

3.  Ransomware

Ransomware is the modern and technical twist in one crime that has been around for quite some time now – extortion. Fundamentally, ransomware works when hackers encrypt files that really mean something to an individual or a company and then demand payment for the key.

For the majority of businesses out there, this process involves the encryption of priceless company data. So much so that when ransomware infiltrates an organisation, all of its employees and managers can’t even work

What’s worse is that if this company didn’t back up their data, their productivity would remain at the mercy of the hacker until the criminals send a decryption key. This is usually done once the victim pays with Bitcoin.

This threat has become a whole new category of cybercrime and, to this day, remains one of the primary concerns for organizations. Between 2018 and 2019, McAfee found that ransomware attacks on companies had grown by 118%.

4.  Malware

Malware is short for ‘malicious software. These programs are specifically engineered to infiltrate and damage computer systems. Ransomware is also a form of malware. However, these programs only hold crucial data hostage. Of course, ransomware is just the tip of the iceberg.

Malware can have numerous objectives, such as harming information or gaining influence or power. In either case, the result is always the same – companies have no choice but to waste time and resources to recover their data.

The most common types of malware are:

  • Viruses
  • Trojans
  • Worms
  • Ransomware
  • Botnets

How to Prevent Malware

The best way to prevent malware is to be careful while opening email attachments, avoiding suspicious-looking websites, and install/update an effective antivirus on your devices.

5.  IoT Hacking

The Internet of Things revolutionized the technology industry as a whole and opened up so many avenues for businesses and individuals to go about their daily routines. Whether you approve of it or not, many of your belongings are connected to the internet, and they are collecting and transmitting your data.

There’s no doubt about the fact that your data is valuable and this is why so many hackers try their best to exploit it. The more IoT devices we connect to, the bigger a target you paint on yourself for hackers. This is why it is crucial that you set appropriate passwords and privacy settings to keep them out.

How to Prevent IoT Hacking

We recommend using Google’s random password generator to secure all of your devices with virtually unhackable passwords. Also, if you’re working in an organization, all of your employees should take responsibility for cybersecurity.

Final Thoughts

We hope that the above discussion helps you devise a conclusive regimen for organizational cybersecurity in 2021.

If you want help with the understanding and implementation of any of these measures, get in touch with Microsys. Our mission is to deliver affordable and high-quality technology solutions that enable small, medium, and enterprise businesses to meet their goals more efficiently. We can assist your small-to-medium scale enterprise in improving its cybersecurity in comparison to previous years.

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