In our last blog post, we published an article about a cyber security threat affecting consumers who purchase marijuana through the Ontario Cannabis Store. The threat affected approximately 2% of customer orders and was accessed by a third party using Canada Post’s delivery tracking system.
Last week, yet another cyber security threat news story came to light. This time the threat was more personal. Smartphone users are receiving messages (and emails) from faceless, nameless hackers who claim to be making screenshots and videos of their browsing history as well as emails and contacts. The hackers are also threatening to expose the victims’ personal information if they did not pay $857 in Bitcoin.
To make matters worse, the wannabe extortionists include some shocking details in their correspondences, including passwords smart phone users have used in the past or may still be using. The cyber thieves also claim to be uploading “malicious codes” to victims’ operating systems and to have “a complete history of visits” of the various internet sites they visit. In other instances, they include the last two digits of your phone number to make you think the threat is real. All threats cause panic!
Cyber security threats are on the rise. Hackers are becoming savvy – looking for individuals who are easy marks. In the years to come, there will be even more advanced cyber attacks using new technologies, victims and intentions. Only you can safeguard yourself from these threats by staying informed. In this blog, our digital and social media marketing training team shares with you the 4 cyber threats through 2019 to be on the lookout for and protect yourself against.
4 Cyber Threats to Protect Yourself Against | Digital Privacy & Security
1. Scam Emails
Scam emails are one of the more common forms of cyber threats as we enter 2019. With this specific threat, hackers send out emails in order to trick victims into giving them private information (e.g., passwords, phone numbers) or access to devices and/or systems. The emails can also include infected attachments that draw victims into downloading them. Once downloaded, the hacker infects your machine and has the potential to gain access to ALL the information on it.
We have seen more and more RansomWare attacks in the past few years and it is expected to increase in 2019. In this kind of attack, cyber criminals steal your data, hold it hostage, and then demand a cash “ransom” for it to be returned to you. Do not pay the ransom as there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it back. RansomWare attacks occur in a number of different ways, ranging from phishing emails to taking advantage of weaknesses in outdated computer systems. The 2017 WannaCry outbreak infected networks at 16 NHS organisations across Britain due its heavy reliance on an outdated operating system. Physicians had to use pen and paper when diagnosing patients and ambulances were redirected after various accident and emergency departments seemingly closed down.
3. Potentially Unwanted Programs
Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are trojans, spyware, and adware. They are usually packaged in combination with another program a user has sought and consented to using. These programs secretly monitor your keystrokes, scan files on your hard drive and interpret your browser cookies. To stay safe from these threats, avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions and programs from unknown websites (e.g., Torrents). It is also recommended to back up your information to an external drive or online backup service at least once a month.
4. IoT Threats
Most people are always plugged in. The vast majority of humans in high-tech countries have an iPhone in their pockets, a PC in their office, a TV at home, and a tablet on the go. The IoT or Internet of Things is helping ensure that every single device you own is interconnected. Of course, all of that connection carries with it massive benefits, which is what makes it so appealing in the first place. You no longer have to log in on multiple devices. You can easily control your TV with your phone. And you might even be able to control your at-home thermostat from an outside digital device. The problem is that all of this makes consumers highly susceptible to cyberattacks. In fact, one study revealed that 70 percent of IoT devices have serious security vulnerabilities.
How to Protect Your Digital Privacy from Cyber Threats | Online Digital Marketing Training
For tips on how to protect yourself and your digital privacy, click on the following links:
yourDMAC | Online Digital & Social Media Marketing Courses & Training
yourDMAC offers a comprehensive Digital and Social Media marketing course for current or aspiring professionals in the Digital Marketing field. The course is also valuable for business owners looking to implement a Digital and Social Media Marketing campaign for their own company.
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The comprehensive online course is comprised of 18 modules and 80 course sections and is expected to take students 40-50 hours to complete. To download the complete course syllabus please click here: yourDMAC syllabus.