Cyber security, as well as cyber-attacks, should be an increasing concern for anyone with a computer or gadget connected to the Internet. This is because more viruses, malware, spyware, and other invasive intrusions are launched on a daily basis compared to just a decade ago. So it’s important to know the signs if your computer is truly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

It is estimated by cyber security professionals that up to $100 billion are lost annually to cybercrime. Though the majority of this amount is hacked from targeted corporations, banks, and the very wealthy, ordinary individual users are also targeted. As long as one is connected to the Internet, one is a potential victim of cyber-attacks.

1. People have a difficult time relating to cyber security threats

Some users actually find themselves asking, “What does all this techie stuff have to do with me?” Or worse, “I’m not a millionaire so who’s going to steal from me?” Investing in cyber security might seem unnecessary or even an additional cost, because you don’t see it working for you, until the attack strikes. Think of it like car insurance or owning a gun: “You would rather have it and not use it, rather than needing it, and not having it.”

2. Your computer may have software apps that make 99% of computers globally vulnerable to cyber attacks

Cyber criminals use flaws in installed software and apps to exploit them for their own malicious intents. The most frequently exploited for this purpose are always browsers, browser add-ons, browser plug-ins, desktop applications, and other applications that have security holes. Specifically, this can include:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Adobe Flash Player / Plugin
  • Oracle Java Runtime
  • Adobe Air
  • Apple TV
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Acrobat

3. Outdated Software is the root of cybercrime evil.

It is always a HUGE part of cyber threats. Online criminals rely on 99% of users to install malware or help exploit security gaps. These security gaps are created by outdated software. This is because, basically, vendors cannot keep up with the advanced thinking of hackers and cyber criminals. Vendors also don’t immediately release security patches after cyber criminals launch new exploit kits on outdated software. Surprisingly, many users don’t keep their software up to date and this leaves any system exposed.

4. Unprotected social media use makes you an open target

There are more than 1.6 billion social network users all over the world, and of this number, some 64% of these access social media on a daily basis. It’s so easy for cyber criminals to do like-jacking, link-jacking, Phishing, and social spam on social media because generally social media users trust their circle of online friends.

5. Social engineering to manipulate victims

People are the weakest link when it comes to cyber security, which is why psychological manipulation of cyber-attack victims is so common. Social engineering, in the context of information security, refers to psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. This is a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access. It can be through e-mails, strange links, and other untrusted sources that look innocent or even professional.

So, the name of the game is always to watch what you click. If you are even in the remotest, in doubt of anything, don’t click. Better to be paranoid than be sorry later.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:31:02 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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