Online Safety

Online Safety

Cybercrime, or computer oriented crime, is crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrimes can be defined as: “Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet and mobile phones”. Cybercrime may threaten a person or a nation’s security and financial health. Issues surrounding these types of crimes have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding hacking, copyright infringement, unwarranted mass-surveillance, extortion, child pornography, and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is intercepted or disclosed, lawfully or otherwise.
Online Threats and How To Deal With Them.

#1 Ransomware
One of the biggest ongoing concerns and threats to our digital existences has been the proliferation and exponential rise of ransomware. You know, the type of thing that locks you out of your computer with an impending countdown that signals the digital death of your entire virtual existence. As it counts down, threatening to encrypt every last shred of data, you realize the peril that digital criminals can inflict on their unassuming victims.

Redundant backups should be a priority for you. Backup to an external drive somewhere on your network and to the cloud through DropBox or another provider.

#2 Phishing schemes
#Phishingschemes are engineered to get you to click on things and oftentimes they seem harmless. Simply click on a link and it will go to some URL. That’s it. However, as harmless as they seem, phishing schemes can lead to a number of major online security breaches if you’re not careful. By paying close attention to what you’re clicking on, you’ll better be able to mitigate these types of attacks.
Once you’re ensnared in this type of scheme, it’s hard to untangle yourself. There are phishing schemes for bank accounts, email accounts, big e-tailers and other service providers that have massive footprints. The objective here is, gain access to the consumer’s account to do the most damage. If you think you were the victim of a phishing scheme, and you entered in your username and password somewhere online and things didn’t seem right, immediately change all your passwords.
Another important thing to note is that most people use the same (weak) password across a variety of services such as Gmail, Facebook and online banking as one example. Never do that. Always use different passwords and ensure that they’re not simple passwords to begin with. If a cybercriminal gains access to one service, you don’t want them gaining access to the others. You should also be changing up your passwords every few months or so.

 

#3 Man-in-the-middle (MIIM) attacks

One of the most sophisticated threats that exist online are man-in-the-middle attacks. This malware sits on your computer and waits until you’ve entered in all your credentials, then it actually swaps out the server that receives the communication and even communicates back to you.

Throughout all of this, everything seems fine. Nothing seems amiss. That’s why it’s such a sophisticated online threat. You almost don’t know that anything is happening when it actually is happening. You have to be very wary of what you download to your computer and what reputable sources they’re coming from. Virus software is not going to help you in most cases here because these threats are always evolving.

Oftentimes, MIIM attacks are a result of phishing schemes that installed latent software on your computer that sits dormant for some time until you begin accessing the proper network or until its recorded the right keystrokes. It then substitutes its own intercepted server right when you submit your credentials to login.

#4 Ad fraud

Online ad fraud is far more widespread than anyone could possibly imagine. This is likely one of the biggest cyber-threats that seems to go under the proverbial radar. Few people know that they’ve been scammed by sophisticated ad fraud systems after it’s occurred. Publishers simply see views increasing and most ad platforms don’t provide high specifics as far as direct views on every single ad impression or click, leaving most people in the dark.

Most publishers are now building White Ops’ software into their contracts, stating that violations in ad clicks and views from bots will result in non-payment of revenues. This human verification on the web is potentially one of the most lucrative types of fraud that so many cybercriminals are working to exploit and companies are working to protect against.

#5 — Social media schemes 

Instagram (IG) money-flipping schemes and many others social media scams have surfaced in recent years. Considering that IG is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, it’s no wonder that unscrupulous cybercriminals are targeting individuals who are in desperate situations, looking to make a few hundred or a few thousand dollars quickly. These IG money-flipping schemes have become so widespread that the company can only take down 1 money-flipping scam for ever 3 that are being created

However, this isn’t just a risk to digital security; cybercriminals are now using IG and other social media sites to physically track and harm well-to-do executives, celebrities and other high-profilers such as athletes and even politicians. Without a good system to thwart such attacks, most businesses and individuals are completely left lost in the dark. That’s likely why so many of the world’s leading companies and affluent individuals rely on ZeroFox’s groundbreaking platform to thwart and mitigate such attacks.

#6 Bitcoin scams

Bitcoin scams have been on the rise recently, especially since the cryptocurrency leaves little in the way of traceable information and unlike with the banking sector, the transactions are irreversible. For those particular reasons alone, cybercriminals have been flocking to the Bitcoin platform. In fact, a large part of their criminal activity is dealt with in Bitcoins for a great majority of their malware attacks that include ransomware and other hacking initiatives.

Considering that Bitcoin valuations have been fluctuating and that there is little in the way of current regulations in the marketplace, this will only continue to get worse. Be very wary of paying for things in Bitcoin and in clicking on any URLs that look deceiving. Read the URLs thoroughly enough to ensure that it’s not a variation of a popular domain name, something that hackers and cybercriminals tend to do often.

If you feel like you’ve been the victim of a Bitcoin scam, it’s best to contact the FBI or your local law enforcement agency. Bitcoin does have built-in protections such as wallet backups and multi-signatures, but that doesn’t mean that scams don’t happen. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated by the day so be careful and avoid anything that looks suspicious.

#7 Social engineering

Social engineering isn’t a new threat. In fact, criminals have been using social engineering hacks in person for ages now. However, when it comes to fraud and other crimes occurring online, this threat is certainly on the rise. With the layer of anonymity that the internet affords, it’s no wonder that social engineering works so well in this medium. Most aren’t that careful about who they interact with or what type of information that they give out or expose online.

It’s not inherently difficult for a criminal to Google the web to find information about a person in an effort to social engineer a scam against them. They can discover their occupation on LinkedIn, their family members or children on Facebook, where they are through Instagram or what they’re talking about on Twitter. They can then work to infiltrate those profiles and take over a person’s entire social media presence, and use that control to take over email accounts and eventually bank accounts and so on.

It’s important to be very careful about who you interact with and what information you expose to the general public. Utilize the privacy features on platforms like Facebook or Twitter and be sure not to share too much personal information on platforms like Instagram. If you do, make your profiles private so that not everyone can track your every movement.

#8 Targeting employees to compromise corporate networks

Another major online threat involves directly targeting employees to compromise corporate networks. Since some employees act as the gatekeepers into their corporate networks, there’s no surprise that this is on the rise. For example, a large part of the wire fraud that occurs happens because cybercriminals successfully target the right employees to compromise the company’s corporate network, allowing them almost unfettered access and approval to steal millions of dollars with ease.

Vulnerable employees also act as a gateway into a corporation’s email servers, files and databases, where these cybercriminals can do massive amounts of damage. Employees need to be very careful on social media networks about who they interact with or through what phishing schemes that they click on and unknowingly provide credentials to. ZeroFox’s game-changing software helps to alleviate a large part of this worry for most large companies, but not everyone is proactive enough to engage in their services.

Without using a company like ZeroFox, most corporations have no idea about what threats exist out there to their employees or their networks, and it really is one of the most revolutionary platforms that exists out there. Either way you cut it, employee education is a must here to ensure any potential attacks are thwarted before they even begin.

#9 Tracking movements for physical targeting

One massive online threat that exists, which can also help put your physical safety into peril, is the tracking of movements through social media and other channels. For consumers, this is an enormous risk, especially for those individuals that aptly portray a lavish lifestyle, traveling around the world. When cybercriminals know that you aren’t home, it’s simple for them to break into your home and steal your belongings.

You don’t need to be uber-wealthy in order to be targeted. Criminals will target all types of individuals through social media channels, able to see when they’re home and when they aren’t. If you go on vacation, be careful of what information you’re sharing and whether or not your profile is public or private. If you don’t have home security systems installed and don’t want to be a victim of a crime, be very wary about what you share.

Much of this remains common sense, but our physical security can also be put at risk if criminals know where we’re going and learn what our routines and schedules might be. They can use that information to do all sorts of bad things to us, virtually and physically, so be very careful.

#10 Customer service interception

One of the gatekeepers to any company are their customer service representatives. They are one of the most proliferous category of employees who are interfacing with the clients on a daily basis. However, as skilled as they might be at their jobs, they are often unaware of the online threats that most cybercriminals pose when interacting through a number of mediums. In fact, cybercriminals are known to replicate profiles and post throughout social media to draw attention to unassuming individuals.

They do this in an effort to gain access to accounts, alter the awareness of the general public and to funnel or filter payments and other inquiries that might otherwise alert companies to something that’s amiss. This is an enormous threat to businesses, and those without a system like ZeroFox or something similar, will most likely be unaware until the very last moment that a crime actually occurs.

Not only is this bad financially speaking, but it’s also bad for a company’s reputation. When a customer is angry, they often don’t care whether they were speaking to an imposter or the actual company’s representative themselves. At that point, it’s usually too late to put out the fire. If you’re a business and you’re serious about your company’s online security through social media channels, it’s important to invest in a platform to help you mitigate such attacks.



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