Remember when our parents used to advise us “stranger danger,” We give the same piece of advice to our kids. This warning stands the test of time even in the modern world. And it’s not just to be followed in the real world but the online world too.
Data breaches aren’t coming to an end. The statistics will leave you startled. The damage caused by cybercrimes is expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. In the first half of 2019, data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records. 71 percent of breaches are financially motivated where 25 percent are done for espionage. The more figures you will look into, the more alarmed you will become.
Common Internet Security Threats
Having the best Internet services, PC or firewall doesn’t always guarantee protection. You could be a subscriber of Spectrum Internet Only plan and have Kaspersky installed on your computer and still become a victim.
For an average consumer, the first line of defense against these threats is education. We can only move towards prevention after becoming familiar with the common types of threats.
We all have heard of them. A computer virus is a software that spreads from one PC to another (just like a human virus). These viruses travel through email attachments or they are downloaded from specific websites. Viruses send spam, disable the security settings, corrupt and even steal data from your PC.
Phishing is a type of social engineering. The purpose is to obtain sensitive data like credit card numbers, passwords, and usernames. The attack is launched in the form of phishing emails or instant messages. They look legitimate but aren’t.
The recipient of the email is tricked into opening the malicious URL added to the email. If they end up opening, malware is installed on the PC. This malware also steals personal information and banking details of the user.
We all have a spam folder in your email. Most of these are junk emails. They are not directly a threat but they might contain malware.
Adware and Spyware
Adware is any software designed for tracking data of the user’s browsing habits. Based on this information, it then shows you ads and pop-ups. Adware collects user’s data with their consent. For some companies, it is a legitimate source of income.
The adware can slow down your PC’s speed and even the Internet connection. This is normal. However, when adware downloads itself without your consent, it is considered malicious. That’s one of the Internet security threats you must watch out for.
Spyware works pretty similarly to adware. It installs itself on your PC without your knowledge. Most of them contain keyloggers that record your personal information. This also includes email, credit card information, and password.
It’s an attack that relies on human interaction. It involves manipulating people into breaking the security procedures and best practices and gaining access to the network, system or physical location for financial gains.
You might receive a highly urgent email from your boss to process a transaction or reveal some information (passwords or other credentials). But that the email is sent from an impersonated account very similar to the original one.
It is a malware that tricks the user to run it willingly. It hides behind a legitimate program. Typically, Trojan horses spread through email. It appears as if the email has been received from someone you know. When you open it, the email contains malware attached to it. Some Trojans also spread when you click an ad.
This malware steals your passwords (even Spectrum WiFi Password) and other sensitive information stored on the computer and hijacks the webcam.
How To Keep Yourself Safe?
We could just keep on naming Internet security threats and talk for hours and hours. The real deal is knowing how to keep your PC and personal information safe. 80 percent of the security breaches and threats can be prevented through basic actions. Start with these:
Use Strong Password
This cannot be stressed enough. Strong passwords keep your data safe.
How to develop a strong password? First of all, don’t use any type of personal information as a password. Use a combination of numbers, alphabets, and special characters. If you need help, use a password manager app. They don’t just help generate passwords but keep them safe in one place.
Use 2-Factor Authentication
2-factor authentication is meant to provide an additional layer of security. A text message containing a code is sent to the user whenever they are about to sign in to an account. Let’s say someone steals your username and password. If you have 2-factor activated, they won’t be able to log in without verification.
Don’t Open Suspicious Emails
We all receive suspicious emails from fake accounts now and then. Stay away from them. Mark them spam. Don’t’ open them.
If you happen to open such an email by accident, no worries. Just don’t click on the URL or download the attachment.
Check The Browser
Whenever you visit a new website, check the URL bar of your browser. If it begins with https, it means you are in good hands. This is an indication that the site is using an SSL certificate and it is credible.
Follow This For Extra Security
Some Internet providers offer extra security features to keep the online experience of their business Internet customers safe. Spectrum is one of them. As you subscribe to their Internet plan, along with add-ons like Spectrum Home WiFi, you also get a security suite license for up to 10 PCs (it’s for free).
It protects against spyware, worms, viruses, Trojan horses and other malicious content. To get help with the installation of this suite, call Spectrum support to receive comprehensive assistance.
There is a firewall tool for safe Internet connections and block unwanted access to your PC.
With the right knowledge of Internet security threats, every user can be a little more careful about protecting themselves online. To learn more about the security suite and other features for fortifying Internet security, dial any of the Spectrum toll free numbers to get assisted.