The internet is the single largest information source in the world with millions and millions of users every single day. It is amazing, there’s no doubt about that.
However, we mustn’t take this it for granted. It is nice and convenient, but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. With a platform this big, you have to stop and think for a second: ‘’Am I safe?’’
With an alarming amount of personal information being uploaded online every single day, one must ask themselves about what happens with all that information.
Well, the simple answer is that everything gets stored. ‘’Oh, but there must be someone guarding it.’’ Yes, all the information is protected both by companies and the law. However, it is also extremely vulnerable, because someone could hack it from any part of the world, often without people even noticing.
With technology and digitalization becoming a regular part of our lives, we must incorporate cyber security in our day-to-day activities to protect our privacy and our well-being.
Here are some of the main reasons why you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to cyber security, and why it should be a mindset and lifestyle choice.
This doesn’t simply mean someone stealing your name and using it. It goes way beyond that. It can be maliciously used, sold, exploited, etc.
There have been various instances where personal information had been stolen and sold online. Take the 2017 Equifax breach for example – it exposed personal information from more than 145 million users.
On the black market you can find an endless supply of different stolen identities, credit cards, etc, which makes it a very lucrative business that has been blooming in the past couple of years.
That is exactly why you should think twice before posting your information anywhere and doing better research on how to protect yourself from such attacks. This will take a few extra minutes here and there, but it is definitely worth it.
The tactic popularly known as Phishing is a way for scammers to find out your personal information, without you even realizing it, by emailing you and using ‘’official’’ emails and even company logos. They carefully think of a ploy to lure you in, and do something malicious without you noticing.
One example would be that they make identical platforms, such as Facebook or Google, and put a so-called ‘’layer’’ on top, which is basically a picture of the regular homepage, but it is not, in fact, the real homepage.
They do this so that you mistakenly enter the information on their ‘’layer’’, which then disappears with your information and leaves you with a seemingly refreshed page, but you have to type in your log in info once again. People usually think that it’s a glitch or a bad connection, not even realizing that someone had just stolen their sensitive information.
Hacking and ransomware
These are also some of the biggest cyber security issues that one must be aware of. This is like kidnapping, but in the online world. Hackers are basically people with amazing programming skills, which allows them to penetrate a lot of devices and use it to their advantage.
What usually happens here is that the hacker gets inside your computer, looks through everything and finds sensitive information or compromising images and then blackmails you and threatens to share that information online.
With ransomware, hacker plants the software on a computer which then encrypts your files using public-key encryption. The key itself gets stored on a hacker’s server, which makes it inaccessible. They then proceed to asking for abnormally large sums of money just to give you back your files.
It does sound eerie and maybe even makes you never want to get online again. But, don’t dwell on it. The only thing you should do is to accept the fact that cyber security has become a necessity rather than just some word that floats around the internet.
Start here and progress to doing even more research and finding ways of protecting yourself. You need to take it very seriously if you want to keep having fun and doing business online without putting yourself at risk.