From paying bills to selling products, the internet has today become the biggest necessity of almost everyone. As per the latest digital 2019 report, on average, we spend 6 to 7 hours online daily. Imagine, we spend 9 hours in a job that pays us and 7 hours on the internet, for our own needs. From a need-based usage, the internet has today become a dangerous beast that has become an irreplaceable part of our lives. Be it kids, youngsters, adults or senior citizens, each member of our society is today using the internet intensively.
Thus, with such massive usage, one needs to understand the threat attached to the irresponsible usage of the internet. We all know that staying secure while using the internet is a matter of confusion. For instance, did you know that while opening a social media account, you unknowingly give away the permission to access your personal data, well! that’s how complicated the world of the internet is.
However, if we understand the risk and nature of internet threats, then we might become more aware and might be less vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Common Cyber Threats in the Year 2020:
- Backdoor entry
Backdoor is a type of malware that neglects and breaches the regular authentication process and acquires remote access to your system.
With the rising awareness of the cryptocurrency market, this threat has been topping the charts since 2019. Here, the malware hides in the users operating system and at the backend, it sits and mines the user’s cryptocurrency without any authentication or consent.
In this type of cyber-attack, where the cybercriminals maliciously inject harmful codes in the webpage. This occurs mostly with payment-based websites. Here, as you enter the payment credentials, the hacker steals the information and uses it to rob money.
- DNS Poisoning Attacks
DNS stands for ‘Domain Name Server’, and DNS attacks are those attacks where the DNS records are misused and when the user logs in to a site, he is redirected to a fraudulent website, which looked the same as the original webpage. Here, when the enter enters his/ her credentials, they unknowingly give access to their account details to the hackers. This mostly happens with banking websites.
- Phishing attacks
Phishing attacks are routed through emails. Here the hacker sends an email that appears to be genuine and important. These emails are sent from trusted sources so that the user falls into the trap and clicks the email. The malware is usually transferred to the user’s computer through attachments or links. Once this malware is downloaded on your computer, they get access to every piece of information you browse or share via the internet.
Now that we know the threats that can be brought through the internet, let us see how to protect ourselves from these attackers and use the internet safely.
- Keep your confidential data offline
Let’s first agree that no matter how good your connection is, it does not provide 100% security. Thus, to secure your personal information, keep them saved offline. Data like your CVV numbers should never be shared online. Whenever you share any important information via email, send it through an attachment. Most importantly, do not forget to encrypt the file before sharing it.
- Strong Passwords
The strength of your password decides the level of security your account holds. Passwords that are easy to crack or predict as weak, for instance, a password with a combination of your name and date of birth is easy to crack, thus it is a weak password. These days, we have the option of fingerprint logins, it’s best to use this feature.
- Think before you click
You cannot be an impulsive and irresponsible internet user. You need to be sure of what you click. Learn to read between the lines, clicking on untrusted sites or emails are the easiest baits for a hacker. If you find a page irrelevant or suspicious, then leave it immediately.
- Nothing comes for Free
Free Wi-fi can sound lucrative, but it is the most vulnerable network, that can steal away all your information in a jiffy. Thus, never access your personal information, like bank details, using the free Wi-Fi connection, use VPN before you latch on to the private Wi-Fi, and if possible, spend very little time on such networks.
- Share your information wisely
Social media runs numerous campaigns offering free services by just entering your personal credentials. Once we have shared our details, we start receiving sales calls from multiple sources. Thus, our information shared with source A may have been sold to multiple parties, without our consent. Thus, think twice before you share any information on the internet.
The Bottom line:
The internet is a universe of information and, in this universe, our information is also present. Thus, we are by default vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, we can save our information from being stolen and misused by hackers and advertisers, by following the above internet usage hygiene checks. Remember, Precaution is always better than cure.