Technology has dramatically evolved in the past decade. The internet revolutionized our lives in ways we could not have imagined ten years ago. Online banking and shopping are now possible with the click of a button, and mobile devices make it simpler to carry out transactions on the go.
However, as technology advances, it bears more risks with hackers getting smarter and using sophisticated tricks to access your devices. An antivirus alone is no longer enough to fight all the cyber-threats.
Some of the cyber-risks that your network and devices are vulnerable to in 2020 include:
A Trojan horse is a type of malware that derives its name from Greek history. A Trojan is malicious software or code that looks deceptively legitimate and can control your devices. Trojans are designed to steal, disrupt, or damage your network or data, and may take the form of an app releasing malicious code once activated.
Phishing is not new but has grown more sophisticated over the years. Phishing involves deceiving the victim with emails with links or attachments that seem to originate from legitimate sources such as banks. Once you click on the link or download the attachment, the link leads you to fake websites that proceed to prompt you to supply your details, such as usernames or passwords.
According to a recent State of the Phish report by ProofPoint, indicates that in 2019, almost 90% of the featured organizations experienced phishing attacks. The survey also indicated that 86% of the companies said they experienced BEC (Business Email Compromise) attacks.
Ransomware is a lot like a kidnap. The kidnapper takes control of your device by encrypting it and demanding payment in exchange for a decryption code. The ransom is usually paid in Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which are hard to trace.
According to the Senior Researcher in the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky, cyber-criminals have discovered that targeting businesses make them more money than individual consumers do. In 2019, a third of the ransomware attacks affected companies.
How to protect yourself from cyber risks
Other than an antivirus, you can protect yourself by using different cyber-security measures such as:
1) Installing VPNs
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a secure tunnel that allows you to browse safely and anonymously. It hides your IP address and masks your location, providing you with a virtual location. Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks such as those coffee shops are notorious for harboring hackers who prey on unsecured devices. A VPN also encrypts your communication, which makes it impossible for hackers to intercept in transit.
2) Update device software
Most people tend to ignore software update prompts on their devices. Always update the software when prompted because the updates include vulnerability fixes, and it only takes a few minutes. If your device uses the older and obsolete software version, a hacker will quickly detect the vulnerability and use it to compromise your device.
3) Check on your social media settings
Some people bare all their details on social media, making it easy for hackers to infiltrate their devices. A cyber-criminal uses social engineering to steal your data using the little or much information you reveal on your social media handles. Check on your settings and reveal as little as possible. For instance, refrain from revealing your real home address or your current location when you post a photo.
Contrary to what you may think, an antivirus is not the sole solution to malware prevention. You can use various other measures to mitigate risks such as using stronger passwords, multi-factor authentication, install antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-malware software. Cyber-risks vary, and it is not a one-solution-fits-all situation. Do an assessment and decide which measures you should use.