By | Rayanne Morriss
We all love the convenience of making transactions and transferring information quickly online. Most people love the comfort of automated transactions and saving passwords, which makes your sensitive information too vulnerable to cybercrime.
Concepts in cyber security
Cyber security refers to securing devices, systems, information, networks, and systems against cyber threats. Cybercrime refers to using computers and computer systems to commit any illegal deeds like fraud and trafficking. A cyber threat is a malicious attack on the computer that aims at stealing or destroying data or just disrupting life. Attackers inject malicious software into your computers through corrupted software.
Types of cyber threats
Malware is a type of corrupted software built to cause damage or get unauthorized access to information on a computer. Some examples of malware are:
Spyware – software that secretly records your activities on your computer to retrieve information
Trojans – malicious software that is disguised as legitimate ones to collect information or cause damage
Virus – programs that attach themselves to a file and self-replicate to other programs throughout your computer system
Adware – malicious software disguised as genuine ads on the internet, which auto-downloads to your computer upon clicking.
When an attacker injects your computer with ransomware, they retrieve sensitive information and block you from accessing it. The only way to recover it is by paying the money they are demanding – the ransom – but there is no guarantee.
Phishing is the most prevalent cyber-attack. The attacker sends fraudulent emails posing as reputable sources to unsuspecting victims to obtain personal information such as login credentials and credit card information.
Attackers, who are constantly opponents, trick you into revealing confidential data. It may be for financial gain or access to sensitive information.
The attacker intercepts communication between two individuals to steal confidential information.
How to combat cyber threats
Use strong passwords, and change them frequently
Never use similar passwords for different apps. Use random password generators to generate strong passwords that are hard for hackers to crack. Change them every two to six months, depending on the vulnerability level of your apps.
Whenever available, use two-factor authentication
It may seem like a tedious process, but you never know when an attack is due. Enable multi-factor authentication for logging in to your mobile banking apps. You can write down all your passwords in your notebook.
Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date
As technology is evolving, so is cybercrime. That one-day delay against updating your antivirus software could be the bridge that compromises you and all your sensitive data. Use up-to-date anti-virus software from reputable cyber security companies to protect your data.
Never use your debit cards in fishy places
If you do not fully trust a place, never use your debit card to make transactions because you are unlikely to recover your money. Debit cards are vulnerable to attack as they hold your details which attackers could use to access your account in the future.
Try to use one device for mobile transactions
Carry out all your mobile money transactions on a secure device. If possible, use a device that does not have access to the internet.
Seek verbal confirmation when doing transactions
Before finalizing a transaction, call the person to verify they are the right recipient. Make sure you have a way of recognizing who they are.
Protect all your devices with passwords
Some people find it unnecessary to protect their mobile phones with passwords. Even with passcodes set for individual apps, you still need to secure your device from unauthorized access.
Do not skip the terms and conditions
Stop using open networks
Free Wi-Fi networks are very lucrative, which is why cyber attackers use them to hack devices. Most people have no tech knowledge, so they don’t take such warnings seriously.
With the increasing cybercrime rates, you have the mandate to protect yourself and your data from cyber-attacks. Equip yourself with basic knowledge and only use trusted software. Never fail to update your antivirus software to enjoy the convenience of mobile transactions. Look at credible online sources for more information on how to protect your data.