Today is the world where people worry less about getting mugged on street and more on the internet. With the cyber security scams popping out daily, it clearly indicates the route modern thieves have taken. Not at a gun point or knife, your money is now being stolen with utter subtlety, where you don’t even recognize the theft until it is done.The security of even big commercial banks like J.P. Morgan and numerous financial institutions has been breached and millions of business and individual accounts have been compromised. It seems no armor can provide protection from these Cyber Attacks.
What are Cyber Attacks? Am I vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?
Cyber Attacks are the offensive gimmicks whose goal is to extract the personal or classified information from the targeted computer systems or networks. This information is later used to either steal or alter the specified data. On a larger scale, the attacks have the potential to become a threat to national security. These attacks could be made either by the individuals or a full-fledged organization.
“Everyone” is vulnerable to Cyber Attacks. Professional hackers target the users based on their level of affluence and the ease to enter into their systems. The targets include from individuals to large companies like finance and banking and even government owned organizations.
How are YOU attacked by these Cyber Criminals?
Stage I: Identity TheftAs suggestive as it is, Identity Theft means that your identity is stolen and anyone could now impersonate you. The thievery starts with an access to your e-mail id. Then you will receive a fraudulent or a ‘phishing’ email that would link you to a ‘phishing’ website. The site looks pretty convincing and genuine. Here you are asked about your personal information and even bank account and credit card details. Sometimes, a humble looking mail also contains malware that would spread into your computer and give more of your personal information such as login account, passwords and other important files to the hacker.
The more information the Cyber Thief has about you, the more you are closer to lose all your money. Not just money, the thief practically becomes YOU in the digital world and can do anything he wants.
Stage II: Draining of Your Money
After becoming YOU, the thief can do online shopping to his hearts fill. Your bank account is compromised.
The money in your account is transferred to ‘certain’ other accounts. Now these accounts could either be created for this purpose, or they could be hijacked by the criminals with the permission of the account holder. From there, your money is simply cashed out and goes into the hands of the Cyber Criminals.
The money from your account can also be flushed out through less obstructed online sites, to the fraud accounts.
Can’t I protect myself from these Cyber Thieves?
Yes, You Can. Knowing how you are attacked by these Cyber Criminals is the only way to stay safe. You can’t fight, but you can protect yourself by taking precautions.
- Do not click on random emails and advertisements.
- Do not reveal your personal information online unless you completely trust the website.
- Do not share your personal information online.
- Protect your PC with good anti-virus software.
- Create strong passwords/ passphrases
If at any point you feel your personal information has been compromised at any level, take immediate actions. For eg: If your email account has been hacked, then change the passwords of all the accounts that your email is connected to. Report it to concerned email service provider.
If Your bank account is compromised, then immediately change the information on your online account gateways, like Paypal. If you are suspicious of the activities through your credit card, Immediately contact your Bank.
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