Crime is out there everywhere. Yes! Even in the virtual world. If we are smart enough to tackle crimes in real life, let us get smart enough to tackle them in virtual life too.
In simple words, cybercrime is a computer-based crime that is initiated online. These crimes need good computers and network connections and are carried out by unethical hackers or organizations. Here are some crimes that come under the cyber umbrella:
Terrorist activities on cyber platform
Invasion of privacy
You cannot prevent crime in any form. However, you can be cautious enough to protect yourself from it. Here are some effective tips that will help you protect you and your loved ones from these malicious cybercrimes!
Create Robust Passwords
Cyber criminals have numerous passcode hacking and guessing techniques based on frequent patterns and estimations.
If you use the same password for all your online activities, then your chances of being a prey to these practices have increased. Therefore, always create strong concrete passwords for your confidential matters online.
What Is A Strong Password?
Use a password that is not obvious and guessable.
Avoid using your birth dates or anniversary dates.
Do not include sequential numbers or alphabets.
Include a sequence only you know about.
Frame a lengthy password
Blend in different characters such as @, #, $, %, etc.
Do not keep literal passwords. For example, if you want to create a password for facebook, then do not include the word ‘facebook’ in it.
Maintain A Private Profile
When it comes to confidential information, make sure you do not share it in your social media handles. But that is not enough. Sometimes even disclosing basic information to cybercriminals can be enough for them to hack you. Therefore, the best you can do is maintain privacy settings on social media handles and avoid too much information let out. Keep your account ‘private’ as and when you can.
Beware of Identity Theft
Identity theft is a very infamous crime that has increased over the years. Identity theft is when criminals and scammers acquire your sensitive information and use them for their luxury under your name. These criminals might also open a bank account on your name, spend bulk money using your credit card details, identify themselves as your name under malicious activities, and so on. You must know that it is exceedingly difficult and tedious to come out of it if you have already fallen a prey to identity theft. There is a high chance you may not even recover your lost money after getting hold of the criminal. The best you can do is protect yourself from falling into it in advance. The most sensitive information that these thieves use is your social security number.
DO NOT LET OUT YOUR BANK CODES, OTP OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS TO ANYONE!
Do Not Fall Bait to Phishing!
Phishing is a crime wherein the criminals impersonate themselves as your bank managers, government officials, call centre helpers, etc. to acquire your personal information. This usually takes place on calls and emails where they ask you your confidential details and codes offering you help from an illusionary problem. They also call you with a claim that you have won a certain lottery from the bank to lure you into greed.
Always identify the caller who claims to be a bank official.
Ask their name, location, and other details before giving yours.
Double check source of information from these mails.
Never access your bank sites by clicking on random links. Only go to your bank account using their official website.
Keep checking all your accounts on a regular basis.
Even if you have the slightest insecurity regarding a transaction, triple check it and investigate. It is worth a shot.
Phishing criminals build spoof sites that look exactly like your original sites where you put your information. Beware of the sites you are accessing. Always access official sites and just not click on them seeing their logos.
Do not fall prey to lottery or bonus gifts offered.
Be Cautious of Your Online Transactions
We all have switched to online modes for shopping lately. However, this has also invited many transaction-based crimes online.
Do not register yourself on unknown sites.
Re-check foreign shopping sites before purchasing.
Do not save your credit/debit card details on online shopping websites.
Use a secured network during transactions.
Avoid the Social Media Cool
Now-a-days it has become a cool trend to talk to random strangers and socialize. While this is good to a specific extent, people tend to go overboard while sharing life details. Cybercriminals take advantage of vulnerable social media users and connect with them with an intent to make friendship. Along the course of friendship, they subtly record all your family and location details which help them to exploit you. Avoid this by only accepting friend requests from those whom you know. Even if you wish to socialize with outsiders and strangers, make sure you do not let out sensitive and personal information about yourself as well as your family.
Secure Your Home Network Connection
Use a VPN! VPNs are Virtual Private Networks that helps you maintain your privacy. VPNs use encryption methods that scrambles the data when sent to a WiFi connection. This makes the data difficult to decode and trace. At the same time, it is safely transmitted too. Therefore, it helps to prevent other network users to peek into your data and other internet doings.
Educate Your Family About Cybercrimes!
These crimes are so subtle that you will not even have the slightest idea about what is about to hit you. Your strongest weapon with which you can protect yourself from these smart crimes, is knowledge. Which is why, cyber criminals target young children and teenagers more because of their ignorance towards cyber security. Educate your children and other family members of the ongoing crimes and guide them with precautions.
After all its famously said,
“Prevention Is Better Than Cure!”