How to Protect Your Home from Cybercrime
As technology advances, cybercrime is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. According to the internet security statistics hackers attack people worldwide roughly every half minute, meaning a cybercrime is committed on an average of 2,244 times per day.
In order to protect your home from hackers, you need to be aware of the different ways that criminals can target your property. Here are 5 types of cybercrime and how you can protect you and your loved ones from becoming a victim of them.
- Identity theft
- Credit card fraud
- Computer viruses
- Phishing scams
Identity theft is one of the most common types of cybercrime, and can be very damaging to victims. Thieves can gain access to your personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and bank account details, and use this information to commit crimes in your name.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft:
- Keep your personal information safe. Don’t share your passwords or PINs with anyone, and don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
- Use strong passwords. Make sure your passwords are complex and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Monitor your credit report regularly. Check your credit report at least once every few months to make sure there are no unauthorized accounts or charges.
- Install a firewall and antivirus software on your computer. These programs will help protect your computer from viruses and hackers.
- Be cautious about giving out personal information online. Don’t give out your personal details unless you trust the website or company you’re dealing with.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is another common type of cybercrime. This occurs when someone steals your credit card information and uses it to make unauthorized charges. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from credit card fraud:
- Having a secured e-wallet, hand wallet or purse is important in keeping your cards safe and secure. You can use these items to hold the majority of credit/debit card information without worry about misplacing them!
- Never allow websites to “remember” your card number. If you need a secure payment portal, like GooglePay and PayPal that can remember cards for multiple accounts then use them instead of having different logins with each site or platform
- When making a purchase through a website, be sure the site is secured. There are 2 simple ways to make sure the site you are on is secured.
- Look at the uniform resource locator (URL) of the website. Secured URL’s begin with “https” instead of “http.” The ‘s’ in this string stands for secure and indicates the site has an SSL Certificate. This means all of your communication is encrypted as it passes from one server-side component or program into another on a different system, protecting not just what’s being said but also how much data there might have been traveling across networks too!
- When you see the lock icon next to your browser’s location field, this means that a https connection exists between yourself and whatever website server. This prevents others from eavesdropping or intercepting any data sent through it.
- Report misplaced or stolen cards immediately. If you feel you have misplaced your cards, or they were stolen, check your credit cards’ most recent transactions then cancel and replace your cards with your bank.
- Be sure to review your credit card statements regularly. If you do find any suspicious activity, dispute it immediately and your bank will launch an investigation and return any lost funds to you.
A computer virus is a type of malware that can infect your computer and damage your files. Viruses are usually spread through email attachments or by downloading infected files from the internet. There are a few things you can do to protect your computer from viruses:
- Keep your operating system and software up to date. Install the latest security updates for your operating system and software programs.
- Install antivirus software on your computer. Antivirus software will help protect your computer from viruses and other malware. But purchasing an antivirus is not the only way to check if you have any virus or malware on your windows computer.
How to run a quick virus scan without anti-viral software (Windows PC)
- Press “windows+r”
- In the prompt type “mrt”
- Follow the prompt and select what type of scan you want: Quick, Full or Customized.
- Avoid downloading files from untrustworthy websites. Only download files from websites that you trust.
- Be cautious about opening email attachments. Don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know.
- Scan email attachments with antivirus software before opening them. Before opening an email attachment, scan it with antivirus software to make sure it’s safe.
A hacker is a person who can access computer systems and networks using multiple coding languages. There are 2 types of hackers out there, Black Hat Hackers and White Hat Hackers. White hat hackers are the good guys, who work with companies to help identify weaknesses in their systems and make corresponding updates. Black-hatters hack for personal gain like any other criminal would do!
Hackers can gain access to your computer by installing malware or luring you into using an unsecured network connection to gain access to your bank account information, web connected cameras and sensitive information that can then be used to blackmail you or loved ones. There are a few things you can do to protect your computer from hackers:
- Don’t access sensitive information with a public WiFi
- Turn off unused internet devices or applications
- Cover laptop and cellphone cameras when not in use
- Download Apps from secure and trustworthy marketplaces only
- Use a two-step authenticator or encryption to secure your data
- If your mobile device is stolen, lock then erase the device using applications such as “find my iphone”
Phishing is a type of online fraud in which scammers try to trick you into giving them personal information, such as your credit card number, social security number or login credentials. They do this by creating fake websites, emails or even letters in the mail that look like they’re from a legitimate company, such as your bank or the government. When you enter your information on these fake sites or give it to the scammer over the phone, they can use it to commit fraudulent purchases or even sell your information on the darkweb.
The best way to protect yourself from a phishing scam is to recognize it first. The Federal Trade Commission has a great article on how to identify and avoid being a victim of a phishing scam.
Final Thoughts on Protecting your Home and Family from a Cybercrime Attack
Now that you know the different types of cybercrime that can affect your home, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from them. By following the tips we’ve provided in this article, you can make your computer and data much more secure. Remember, the best way to avoid being a victim of cybercrime is to be proactive and stay informed about the latest threats. Stay safe out there!
If you’re looking to upgrade your home security be sure to check out our last blog on why you should rethink only installing a security alarm, before you make your decision.