How to deal with the dangers of online crime
In recent years, there have been many news stories about cybercrimes ranging from data breaches to malware. Such crimes are not only becoming more common, but they’re also becoming more sophisticated.
But even if these criminals gain access to corporate networks, you can still take steps to protect yourself from online crime. Here are some tips from cybersecurity experts on how you can protect yourself.
- Be careful where you click.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online is to be careful about where you click. Be aware that many malicious websites try to look like trustworthy sites, so don’t trust links if they come from an unknown source or if they seem suspicious.
When opening an email attachment, make sure it’s from someone who sent it and not just randomly attached without your knowledge. Also, be aware that the attachments themselves can contain malware designed to infect your computer. If there’s something strange about an email or its contents, don’t open any attachments until checking with someone else who knows what kinds of things are normal for that kind of message.
- Be careful which apps you use.
You should also make sure that the apps you’re using are legit. When downloading apps, be sure to stick with those from the official app stores or those verified by your phone manufacturer. It’s not uncommon for malicious apps to come from third-party websites and independent developers—these sites may look legitimate, but their purpose is often just to spread malware onto your computer or smartphone.
Don’t download any app if it asks for too much information up front. If a game asks you for social security numbers and credit card information before playing, maybe don’t play it! Also keep in mind that any free app could be trying to get more money out of you later on down the line either through ads or purchases within the program itself (especially if it’s an app like Candy Crush).
Finally, always read permissions granted by an application thoroughly before agreeing to install; if something doesn’t seem right about what an app has access to on your device like contacts or location data then don’t let them access these things!
- Make sure your operating system is always up-to-date.
It’s important to make sure that your operating system is always up-to-date. This ensures that you have the latest security fixes, and it can help keep you from getting infected with malware. If your computer’s operating system is not updated, it will be at a greater risk for attacks by malicious software.
If an update isn’t available yet (or if updating causes problems), there are other steps that you can take:
- Make sure your devices have access to the latest security updates and patches.
- To make sure your devices are as secure as possible, you should make sure they have access to the latest security updates and patches. To check for updates:
- Open Settings and select System. If you’re using a Mac, go to System Preferences and click Software Update.
- Check for available system updates. If any are available, click Install Updates or Download in Windows 10.
- Use a quality antivirus program.
An antivirus program is software that protects your computer from viruses, worms and other malicious programs. You should install an antivirus program on your computer to protect against online threats.
If you’re looking for a good antivirus program that’s easy to use and always up-to-date, we recommend Avast! Free Antivirus.
To get started with Avast!, you’ll need to download the installer file from the Avast website before installing it on your computer.
Once installed, you’ll be prompted to update the software so that it has all of the latest definitions available for detecting new viruses as they arise. The first time this happens we recommend allowing it run in order for everything to work correctly afterwards – otherwise some features may not work properly (such as real-time protection).
After updating, start scanning your system by clicking Settings -> Protection Status -> Scan Now or by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Esc simultaneously then clicking “Scan now” under Virus Chest or Netbook Security icons listed under Processes tab within Task Manager window which should appear after scanning starts running successfully without any errors displaying inside its window contents area located at bottom left corner next to Windows Taskbar icon located directly beneath Start button icon if present below Desktop area where user account name appears when logged into PC desktop screen area after logging into Windows OS using username password combination given during initial setup process when first starting up PC hardware system initially installed onto computer hard drive.
- Avoid oversharing on social media sites.
When you share personal information on social media, it’s not just your friends and family who can see it. Anyone with an internet connection can access that information, including cybercriminals.
For example, if you post a picture of yourself in front of your house and include the address on the photo’s caption, people may be able to use this information to steal your identity by using a variety of web tools such as Google Maps or Street View. This means that anyone who wants to commit fraud or break into your home could see where you live and use that knowledge for malicious purposes.
You should also be careful about sharing contact details when posting on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter because someone might use this information for phishing scams or other forms of cybercrime. Phishing scams work by tricking people into providing their personal details through fake websites designed specifically for this purpose—so if someone asks for them online (on Twitter), they should think twice before giving up any kind of sensitive data!
- Use strong passwords and different passwords for different online accounts.
When choosing a password, make sure it’s at least 8 characters long and has a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. Don’t use personal information like your name, address or phone number as your password either.
Instead, try to think of something random that doesn’t have any obvious meaning to others but is easy for you to remember. If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea that fits these criteria, apps like Dashlane or LastPass can help generate passwords for you based off certain criteria (like making them unique based on the website).
- Use two-step verification when available.
Two-step verification is a security measure that requires you to enter a verification code in addition to your password. Most websites and apps offer two-step verification.
If you haven’t set up two-step verification for your online accounts yet, it’s worth taking advantage of this additional level of security. To enable two-step verification on your account:
- Sign in to the account management page of any website or app
- Click “Security” or “Account Settings.” For example, if you want to enable two-step verification for Google services such as Gmail and YouTube, click the dropdown menu next to your name at the top right corner of any Google page and select Account settings from the dropdown menu that appears.
Scroll down until you see Two step authentication and click Set Up next to it. This will take you through steps that explain how to use this feature in detail; just follow along until finished!
Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about employees or other internal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
Don’t give out your password and don’t click on any links in emails that request your account number, credit card information, social security number and other sensitive data.
Be cautious when using publicly available Wi-Fi locations like cafes and airports; these are often less secure than home networks.
- Train employees to recognize and report suspicious activity.
Educate your employees about the dangers of online crime, and outline for them what steps they should take if they believe that their company has been targeted by cyber-criminals.
If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company before giving out any information.
If you’re diligent and keep yourself safe, you can avoid becoming a victim.
It’s a good idea to be careful about what you click on, and which apps you use. Make sure your operating system is always up-to-date and that your devices have access to the latest security updates and patches. If you’re running old software or using an antiquated antivirus program, try updating those first before anything else. And if you’re going to post anything online (even privately), remember that it’s out there for anyone who wants to see it—including criminals looking for information about potentially vulnerable targets.
Finally, if something happens on your device that makes it feel sluggish or slow down dramatically (known as “hijacking”), don’t panic! Just power off the device entirely; then when it restarts again afterward everything should be back in order again.
I hope this post has been helpful in showing you how to stay secure online. It can be a little intimidating, but if you follow the steps in this post, you should be able to keep yourself safe. I’m going to leave you with one last tip about keeping your information safe: always remember that the Internet is a place for sharing information, but it’s also a place where scammers and hackers are lurking on every corner. Be vigilant! If it feels too good to be true, then it usually is.