3 Risks from Phishing, Ransomware, and Malware to Protect Against
It’s easy to use the internet and not be mindful of the threats that lurk there. Outside of scary-sounding places like the ‘dark net’ is a regular worldwide web where bad things can happen.
Whether from phishing, a malware infection, or a ransomware attack, the risks are ever-present, the threat an evolving one, and the need to protect against itnever more important than today.
Here are 3 risks from phishing, malware, and ransomwareyou can’t ignore.
1. Your Data Being Sold or Traded
A phishing attack is where cybercrime is committed. One person or multiple people access the information over the internet or from your computer and bundle it with other data, to sell as a batch.
For instance, on the dark web, people sell batches of hundreds of credit/debit card details for a low price. Also, they trade identifying information that can be used by criminals for identity theft scams. If this happens to you, it can ruin your life as someone wreaks havoc by opening accounts online and using stolen information to do it.
Once your information is out there, then it becomes much harder. Sometimes, it’s necessary to notify credit agencies to block new accounts from being opened to stop it from happening. The nightmare can continue for years.
Tip: To avoid being stung by a phishing attack, be extremely careful when and where you provide any information about yourself online. If in doubt, don’t provide anything.
2. Your Computer is Used as a Bot
With a malware infection, software allows the creator of it to gain access to your system or systems. That could be a single PC or a network of them within a business.
Malware can be used for many different things. But one of those is as part of a “botnet.” This is an organized network of hacked computers that can be remotely instructed to carry out a set of instructions.
For instance, creating a systematic DDOS attack with 1,000 PCs hitting a site at the same time can be enough to knock it offline. A competitor could order this service to create problems for their rivals. The attack would originate from 1,000 malware-infected PCs across 1,000 IP addresses, making it difficult to stop or prevent.
Tip: Use a malware scanner to scan your systems and keep them protected at all times.
3. Locked Out System and a Demand for Cryptocurrency
One day you wake up and see a message covering your PC screen. It’s advising you that the PC is now controlled by a third-party and they’re demanding money to be sent in cryptocurrency as a ransom to unlock the computer.
The PC has been infected by ransomware. Removing it is incredibly difficult. Rebooting the PC won’t work. Sometimes, it’s even infected the BIOS that the PC will use to boot up, making it difficult to remove.
Tip: Be mindful of all emails and attachments received, even from people you know. Do not install software from unsafe sources. Stick to respected software providers. Even then, scan any software before installing it. The risks are various but are becoming deadlier for your computer’s health. Even your tablet or smartphone is not immune from these threats. Therefore, follow the tips outlined above to avoid the worse of the risks described.