Although cybercrime is nothing new, it’s on the rise. In 2016, cybercrime accounted for 54% of economic crime in the US. Company owners and individuals alike need to be aware of the tactics cybercriminals use so that they can protect sensitive information from being hacked, stolen, or even handed over willingly due to psychological manipulation.
Criminals use whatever method they can to access personal information like SSNs, credit card numbers, bank account info, passwords, and more. Some of the most common delivery vectors include email, social sites, and ecommerce sites, but also in-person tactics and phone calls.
Internet: Social Engineering
Cybercriminals use social engineering to manipulate people into offering information they normally wouldn’t give away. They play on human emotions like fear, desire, and curiosity to coax them to click on malicious links. Social engineering can happen on the phone and in person, but happens most frequently on websites that people visit most, such as social networking channels and ecommerce sites.
What can you do to avoid these scams? Avoid:
- Social media posts containing propaganda
- Links with text that doesn’t match the pop-up text box (the box that pops up when your mouse hovers over a link)
- Promises for free stuff or huge savings on expensive items
Data security companies offer comprehensive education to learn how to recognize social engineering and how to prevent this type of criminal activity from targeting your private accounts.
Email: Phishing Attempts
Phishing is actually a type of social engineering that often takes place in emails, but criminals also use websites and phone calls. The con artist usually impersonates a government agency or a representative from a trusted account, asking to confirm private information.
How can you identify phishing emails? Look for
- Spelling mistakes
- Poor grammar
- Links or attachments
- Signed by a popular, well-known company or agency
- Threats if you don’t take suggested action
You can get email and spam protection installed by data security companies to protect your inbox from any malicious activity.
In-Person: Radio Frequency Identification
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a method of transmitting radio waves to pick up information that’s embedded on a tag or item. Many barcoding systems use the RFID method, as do credit cards. Some nefarious individuals have the reader capability on a scanner or smartphone, so as they walk by someone with an exposed credit card, they can scan it from several feet away and steal their information.
You can protect your credit card information by:
- Keeping your credit cards in a RFID-proof wallet or clutch
- Put your cards away immediately after using them
- Never leave your cards exposed, such as next to you on a table or beside your wallet/purse
For technical protection against malware, install antivirus and anti-malware security programs. It’s a good idea to browse the internet anonymously by using your browser’s privacy features so cybercriminals can’t track your internet activity. You should also clear your cookies and cache every 2 weeks. On your social accounts, be strict with your privacy settings to avoid getting hacked.
As a professional data security company, Just Solutions Inc. can ensure the information you use on the internet is safe from malicious cybercriminals. Don’t wait until you get hacked before you get the protection you need. Contact us to learn more!