Hacker Trends You Need to Educate Yourself on Today
Hacker activity has grown hugely over the last ten years as more and more people have gone online and started doing tasks (such as communicating, buying, browsing, and researching online) daily.
With billions of people around the globe using computers and regularly uploading and transferring data, particularly sensitive details related to identities and finance, hackers have plenty of information to target.
Unfortunately for consumers, a cybercriminal attack can cause nasty problems, and be a big waste of time, energy, and money, not to mention a stress creator. As such, it’s necessary to stay up to date on all the latest threats and trends when it comes to hackers, so you know how best to protect yourself online.
Need for Comprehensive Security Protection
One of the key changes to be aware of is that basic antivirus programs don’t provide enough protection these days. Cybercriminals continue to come up with ever more complex attacks, which means consumers correspondingly need more sophisticated safeguards.
While once you may have been able to get away with using one of the free basic antivirus programs offered online, today, you need comprehensive internet security software that stops a variety of threats. For instance, the product should keep you safe from phishing, ransomware, spyware, spam, viruses, and other malware. The software should get updated regularly by developers, too, with extra features to thwart new threats as they arise.
One of the most common hacker attack strategies on the rise is phishing. This is the tactic where cybercriminals send out emails designed to look like they’re from a reputable company. Unwitting consumers open these emails believing they’ve received a genuine message from an organization they deal with, but they’re just exposing themselves to malware, viruses, and the like.
Also, hackers often put requests in emails for recipients to click on a link to go and login to their account and update details. People do this thinking there’s a need, and that they’ve received a real instruction, but doing so enables the hacker to get their login and other information.
Cybercriminals have become better at impersonating trusted company communications, and they use sophisticated techniques to trick even savvy consumers. Hackers use advanced social engineering strategies that involve human interactions and manipulations across numerous steps to make content relevant and interesting to potential victims.
Email users need to be discerning about which messages and attachments they open, and they should avoid clicking on links in emails. Only ever type in web addresses into browsers rather than getting to websites via links, and use security software to help prevent hackers from logging into email systems remotely. Also, look for clues that an email is fraudulent, such as messages coming from strange email addresses, logos colors that aren’t quite right, poorly written text, and strange or urgent requests for information.
High Threats to IoT Devices
With so many people and organizations now buying internet connected devices for their home or office, hackers have turned their interest to IoT devices. Smart-home products are fun and handy, but they also give cybercriminals more scope to break into systems and networks digitally.
One of the issues is that many people don’t bother changing the default settings on smart devices after purchase. Since manufacturer usernames and passwords get publicly listed and discussed, hackers don’t have to try hard to learn login details. Plus, not everyone protects their Wi-Fi routers with proper passwords or updates the software or firmware of internet-connected devices, so this further provides an “in” for cybercriminals.
Using Smaller Targets to Get to Bigger Ones
Previously, hackers went after “big fish,” such as government departments and large companies. While these organizations are still targets, today, cybercriminals tend to try to compromise “little fish,” like individual consumers, solopreneurs, and small businesses, as a means to get to larger corporations. Now, many corporations and governments get hacked because cybercriminals first gain access to their subcontractors, connected partners, or even employees or customers.
Hackers know that many people use the same password on most account logins and online platforms. If they’re able to discover one code, then, they’re often able to use these details to infiltrate numerous other ones, whether business or personal.
This risk is hard to mitigate against, but companies should instruct workers and others who login to systems to use unique passwords and change these codes every three months or so. Plus, organizations will better protect themselves if their websites require multifactor authentication, with more than a username and password needed to login.
Hacker threats are many and varied and aren’t likely to reduce in number or fervor anytime soon. However, individuals and organizations can better protect themselves by understanding the types of risks out there and follow steps to keep hackers at bay.