Computers are a big help to society and businesses. They can help automate some mundane tasks, and it is your gateway to the internet, where you practically have unending sources of information. There are many programs out there that focus on productivity and communication, and that is why organizations find people who are skilled in navigating or using those as desirable. The software industry is also constantly changing, and those that can keep up will know the trends that come and go in this space.
One of the things that people are always concerned about is security. The creators of malicious programs are always out there to get people caught in their traps. Those many have already wizened, they continue to come up with sneaky ways to lure potential victims in.
The Predator and the Prey
The people who are conducting these sneaky cyber attacks are exploiting certain behaviors of computer users. First are the impatient and those who lack attention to detail. Those who fall under this camp would be prime candidates to become the next prey of these digital predators. A lot of these attacks are inconspicuous at first glance. If you do not investigate further, you could just trigger a script to release malware into your system.
Some prey could those in a business organization who are not very communicative with their superiors. The names of the higher-ups in a company may be used in phishing emails, and these could involve an instruction to approve an expense or something that involves pushing through money. If you are someone who just proceeds with crucial actions at just the sight of an executive’s name without verifying the request, then you can be a danger to the business because you can compromise sensitive internal information.
Your company should have advanced security operations that can identify and filter out suspected cyber attacks. This can be coupled with increased awareness and attention to detail among your employees.
The great thing about emails is how they require action on your part to trigger a script that is embedded in the message or baked into an attachment. As long as you do not click anything, the message is just a read-only item. That is why malware makers like to get creative about how you can get to click on things you are not supposed to. They will resort to shady shenanigans if they need to.
A lot of phishers like to send messages that appear as if they have come from a legitimate source, like your bank or any other financial institution. The content is usually about how your account is compromised or suspended, and it would take your action to solve it. Basically, they would ask you to reset your password through the email, and this already should raise a red flag for you. Remember, you will never be asked to do that through a link in a message. You can only do that on the website of your bank where they have a link that
There are some that use simple methods to pull off a cyber attack. In the olden days, a virus can be spread using an infected floppy disk that is passed around. The physical media that can be passed around today are the USB sticks. Although everyone is smart enough to reject using those that come from people they do not know, this can still be a viable way of delivering malware to many people. Someone can just leave it at a public place, hoping for someone to pick it up and take it with them. This is disguising it as a free item, and then the victim will find out later that they have infected their computer with it.
People are always asked to make their passwords as complex as possible. Personal information such as birthdays, names, and others are discouraged to be part of it. But this can fall on the deaf ears of many. There are cyber attackers who find ways of gathering information through social manipulation. The first thing they have to do is get to talk to you by phone or chat with you online. They can pretend to be someone who is interested in meeting new friends, or a customer service representative offering to help you with your account. When they are successful in getting your attention, they will then extract personal information from you. Once they are done with that, they will try to see if they can crack your online accounts using what they have learned from you.
Remember that there is a way to reset the password using a “forgot password” link, which can lead to the site asking some personal questions. That is why you should always have another layer of security like two-factor authentication so logging into your account would require a piece of information that you can only access. This can be used with your smartphone, where they will send you an authentication code via text or phone call.
As more people get online, cyber attackers get sneakier with their attacks. That is why people should be vigilant in avoiding their attempts to access information. One only has to be more observant and keen on the details when they use their computers. Do not let yourself become their victim.