Since the evolution of the digital age, many individuals and businesses have moved the majority of their activities online. This trend was necessary due to the need to cut running costs and get access to a broader population than would have been reached using the conventional method. Besides this, the internet offers lots of opportunities, possibilities, and information for every category of individuals and businesses.
However, while using the internet has several benefits, it’s not without challenges, part of which are cyberattacks and a host of other digital threats. It’s no news that internet criminals and hackers are increasing in number and methods daily. They’re becoming more sophisticated when it comes to breaching personal cyberspace and compromising organization data confidentiality.
Many organizations and individuals run a massive online presence and rely on the same to successfully manage their businesses and personal brands; a good example is the banking sector. Customers’ and organization data get generated and saved digitally with sophisticated security measures to protect their confidentiality and integrity. However, this doesn’t stop digital criminals, who constitute a major digital threat, from making attempts at stealing data, money, or illegally taking the identity of individuals for criminal purposes.
What Are Digital Threats?
Also known as cyber threats, digital threats are hostile efforts directed towards compromising the integrity of data by damaging it, stealing data, or disrupting digital life as a whole. Investments in cybersecurity have been on an exponential increase due to advancements in technology. Regardless, many individuals and organizations remain prone to cyberattacks, a factor that’s now linked to the persistence of cybercriminals in finding loopholes in cybersecurity measures.
Digital threats come in various forms. Some of them include;
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to garner confidential and sensitive information from an unsuspecting individual while posing as a legitimate institution. Such information that could be requested includes personally identifiable information, credit card details, passwords, etc.
Ransomware is malicious software introduced into your computer to scramble and prevent access to your data, after which a message displays requesting a ransom before you can regain access to your files. Most ransomware gets introduced through malicious emails.
3. Identity Theft
ID theft involves illegally obtaining the personal or financial information of an unsuspecting individual with the sole intent of assuming the person’s identity to make purchases or get credit or loans.
Hacking means malicious attempts at gaining access to sensitive information relating to bank accounts or credit cards. It’s also associated with social engineering, which has to do with tricking individuals into revealing confidential information about them.
Tips for Protecting Yourself Against Digital Threats
Don’t take digital threats with levity. They can lead to the loss or compromise of vital, sensitive data, resulting in reputational damage for organizations. Security breaches can sometimes lead to the loss of vast amounts of money, which can be devastating for individuals and corporate bodies.
Arming yourself with necessary information and knowledge of preventive measures to take will go a long way in ensuring you don’t fall victim. Below, we provide some tips on how you can protect yourself against digital threats.
1. Back-Up Important Data
Backing up your data is one of the numerous ways to prevent yourself from digital threats. Doing this will help recover information or resources you might lose if you encounter any cyber incidence or your computer systems develops issues. Make backups to external hard drives, so you don’t lose sensitive data to viruses in the event of a cyberattack on your computer system.
2. Register with a Standard Online Identity Protection Company
You can’t be too careful when it comes to taking preventive measures against digital threats, and no amount is too much to safeguard yourself from the antics of digital criminals. An ID protection company helps prevent identity theft incidents, and provides compensations should they happen (based on agreed terms). Many individuals and businesses lose millions to identity thieves almost every day, partly due to not taking their identity protection seriously.
Identity protection companies help prevent this by monitoring all activities carried out in your name online and set alerts and alarms to negative flag situations that involve your identity. Some ID protection enterprises also offer screening services at not-so-expensive rates.
3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Your Social Accounts
Two-factor authentication, sometimes called two-step verification, is a security procedure in which websites or apps require users to provide two separate authentications before granting access to those platforms. It’s usually an extra step that makes it very challenging for hackers to access your accounts. Always make efforts to enable this two-step verification procedure whenever you have the option.
4. Restrict Unwarranted Access to Your Computer Systems
This step prevents foreign materials or malware from making their way into your computer systems as they’re known to be sources of cyberattacks. Keep a close eye on your computer equipment. They should be appropriately encrypted to avoid unauthorized access. Install anti-malware programs and update them every time.
Of course, there’re lots more measures individuals and organizations can take to protect themselves against a digital threat. The few ones given above will go a long way if you adhere to them. You’re responsible for your safety, endeavor not to take it lightly.