Recently, there have been serious concerns towards the prevalence and continuing incidence of cybercrime. The surprising gist about cybercrime is that it can affect anybody irrespective of status.
According to Norton, over five hundred and fifty six million persons are victims of cybercrime every year, meaning 1.5 million persons are victims of cybercrime daily and 18 persons are victims of cybercrime every second.
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A lot of things can occur at the detriment of the victim. Based on reports and regular arising cases, what people lost most is money. Based on reports, over billions of dollars are lost in the global economy yearly as a result of cybercrime.
What does Cybercrime Mean?
Cybercrime is simply a crime committed with the use of a computer network device. These are offences committed against individuals or a group of individuals in the virtual world.
Cybercrime often occur in different ways, which may be: cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, software piracy, virus dissemination, phishing scam, cyber-plagiarism, cyber-terrorism, online blackmail, hacking, cybersquatting, internet fraud, child pornography, cyber-defamation, and so on.
Persons who carry out these specific crimes dwell mainly on the internet. The frequency and impact of cybercrime on organisations, persons and even governments increase daily. There is no visibility of slowing down soon.
Protecting Yourself from Cybercrime
Looking at the various and rampant cases of cybercrimes across the world, some measures have been taken to curb this malaise which involves enactment of laws and regulations have been put in place.
Even some countries had in past put in place, laws against cybercrime prior to the rampant situation of cybercrime. Despite this, it could be said that it is not sufficient to combat cybercrime as the force of these laws will only be effected aftermath the cybercrime act, and such act will be censured by applicable laws in place.
This makes it imperative for individuals to take necessary preventive measures to avoid being victims of cybercrime as most victims of cybercrime today are so based on the necessary or technical information known to the criminals. Let’s check these preventive measures.
1. Beware of Email Phishing
No place on the internet is safe and to be trusted with good faith any longer. Email platform is not an exception to this. Reports shows that people of age 45 and above can lose their homes, life savings if they fall victims to fraudulent email schemes.
If you see a mail that looks fishy, do not bother to open it. For instance, you did not apply for a job but the email looks like it is from a reputable firm inviting you for an interview requesting you to click on a link.
What do these cybercriminals want? If you click on the link, definitely you will be redirected to a corrupted website with virus thereby enabling a breach on your computer.
At times attachment may be used as the means to such email and once you download the attachment, your computer is at risk so also your personal information and data, which is the main target of these cybercriminals.
Ensure you have a trusted antivirus installed on your computer, to scan links and attachments on your mail inbox. Nevertheless, the bulk load is still on you by ensuring not to click on any link from an unknown sender.
2. Using Strong Password
A lot do not take this serious when opening social media account, creating profile on a website and so on. This is one of the major things cybercriminals look into to commit atrocities.
Make sure you do not use the same password for all your internet account. Even at that, do not use a guessable password, that even a random person can get within short minutes of try outs.
Make your password strong, by including letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use information personal to you that is familiar with people as password, such as your names, family members name or date of birth.
As a computer user, installing trusted antivirus on your system should be recorded in your ‘to do list’ as one of the important things to do if you do not have one installed on your system.
This will to an extent combat cybercrime attack on your system through the circulation of virus (with the aim of stealing personal information of computer users) and will also remove existing virus on your system too.
4. Be Careful before Downloading
You may have questions about the way I have been mentioning ‘virus’ and how does virus and been a victim of cybercrime attack correlates? Creating a virus is an offence and is punishable under applicable laws in different countries that have been enacted to combat cybercrime.
The creators of virus aim at circulating it to cause damage to their victims, by stealing their money through personal information.
You may as well come across virus or viruses, while trying to download contents like audios, videos, applications or even documents.
It is advisable to download from a reliable source and construe whatever information that may be attached to the download package because virus could be attached to these files that you want to download. Make use of antivirus to scan files before downloading too.
5. Do not Disclose Personal Information (Credit Cards information, Passwords and so on)
The world is full of different persons or individuals. A onetime interaction with a person, does not ground trusting that person with crucial information.
For a person to be a victim of cybercrime, the perpetrators must have acted on the information gotten from such person, either directly through the person or indirectly without his knowledge (through virus attack, hacking and so on). The direct means is always the fault of the victim, who discloses the information.
Ensure you do not share information relating to your credit cards and even sharing your passwords to somebody because you may not be the victim but a friend you regularly interact with will be at loose end based on the communication between you and your friend, which the cybercriminal or cybercriminals must have acted upon.
If you realise that you gave somebody your password, ensure you change it to prevent further unauthorised access to your internet accounts.
6. Do not Check Unknown Links
There are a lot of links on internet and they mostly circulate through advertisements either posted on website, received through personal messages or email, seen as a post on social media. Some of these unknown links are not clean as you see them.
Virus or viruses may have been attached to such links to invade your computer in order to steal important information.
7. Avoid Unsecured Wi-Fi Network as much as possible
Who does not like freebies? I want you to know that the free Wi-Fi network you are always connecting your computer or phone to, could be dangerous for your computer or your phone.
A cybercriminal may set up a free Wi-Fi network in a public place, for people to connect to in order to enjoy free website, thereby gaining access to your phone or computer.
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