Today the Internet takes one of the central places in our daily reality. It offers many interesting opportunities, such as communicating, web searching, sending files, and so on. Both in real and virtual life, people should pay attention to their information security. As the number of malicious programs grows, hackers find new security holes in systems and successfully exploit them.
What is information security?
Network information security is a state of information when it is protected from being destroyed, disclosed, or used by hackers for fraud purposes. Modern financial fraud aims to steal the victim’s money. This is the oldest type of criminal activity on the Internet. If we take a look at the history of threat development, we will notice the following evolution:
- Small fraud. This is the theft of essential elements for access to the Internet through dial-up. The attackers used file viruses, Trojans and remote administration tools in order to steal the user’s data.
- Remote control and espionage. Mostly corporate users suffer from this. The criminal was required to inculcate a malicious program in the victim’s information infrastructure.
- “Internet fraud” – theft of virtual money. The development of e-commerce has led to a sharp increase in the popularity of virtual money. To access the electronic wallet, you need special details, which are even easier to steal than internet access credentials. In addition to malicious codes, criminals began to use “obfuscation sites”, asking the users to enter their sensitive data. To lure users to such a site, spam technology is used.
- Financial fraud. In this case, the malefactors, first of all, are interested in the bank accounts of the victims. Having acquired the account number and password of the victim, the offender simply transfers the money to his account in another bank.
- Criminalization of a criminal virtual community. This is an organized cybercrime, which is more dangerous. The communities spend money and hire professionals who are able to find a new vulnerability in the distributed software and create a malicious code that will steal confidential information. The result of such activities is the theft of money and sometimes of commercial information.
Only 3% of web applications are robust enough to withstand hackers, while 97% of websites have “serious defects in protection.” As a result, the data and systems can be hacked for malicious use. Almost 40% of apps with detected “holes” allowed the attackers to gain full control and access to their users’ information. About 23% of the defects could lead to breaches of data confidentiality, and 21% of the detected errors made it possible to “steal” goods from electronic stores. 5% of the defects allowed the hackers to change the information, and another 5% – to intercept the transactions. 2% of the software bugs are so serious that attackers can quietly delete websites.
Information protection and security predictions
Due to the above-mentioned cyber criminal tendencies, the government’s interest in cyber defense and cyber attacks is increasing. Experts predict that in 2019, the number of attacks from hackers and the number of the victims will be increasing.
While the popularity of cryptocurrency is expanding, and news about the “crypt” are at the top of the evening news, the cybercriminals’ interest in them also grows. Attackers will continue to steal digital wallets, install hidden miners and infect equipment for mining.
Fake news and propaganda from social networks will still exist. The ability to influence the opinions of hundreds of thousands of people is an excellent tool used by stakeholders. Fortunately, Facebook is already working to solve such a problem. For example, if a page has been reported a number of times for the distribution of fake news, its opportunity to post materials will be banned.
Fortunately, thanks to the GDPR (European Union legislation), the public will be able to learn for the first time about the attacks that have just occurred. With the provisions made with these international online safety measures, the amount of victims should decrease.
Information security tips
Here are some simple recommendations that you should follow to protect yourself from most Internet threats.
- Use always only licensed anti-virus software.
- Use a second bank card specifically for purchases on the Internet. The balance of this card must be replenished immediately before the financial transaction.
- Do not install software and applications from unknown sources.
- Do not download or use software from torrent networks
- Buy products only from trusted and reliable sites, and do not click on suspicious ads.
- Check the correctness of the online store URL address. Sometimes scammers create an absolute copy of the store and place it on a similar address (a difference of 1-2 letters). If you do not notice the deception, the data of your card will go to the scammers.
- Use additional security tools, such as a VPN. When using a virtual private network, all your data is encrypted, making it protected from hackers. This is like a form of shield protection from all persons who may wish to access your traffic and data.
We have shared just a short list of tips that will help you to protect your data on the Internet. We recommend that you learn more about online security from our previous articles:
- 15 Tips for safe online shopping
- How secure is my password?
- How to prevent identity theft from your online activities