Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
Some people are still not convinced of the need for better online security. They read articles about VPN security as scare tactics by advertisers. They see news of cybercrime as resulting from gross negligence. They just can’t see why cybercriminals would be interested in the few dollars they have in their bank accounts. Here are a few assumptions and why they give people the false sense that individuals are safe.
Cybercriminals put a lot of time, money and effort into setting up their operations.
So, they are not interested in small fish. This is true of some cybercriminals, and they usually go after bigger targets to make it all back. But most successful heists are performed by larger operations. These rings are composed of individuals who already have most of the equipment and knowledge needed to do their part. Together, they are all set to pull it off. Many heists have involved taking small sums from different people. There are a thousand victims per minute. Not even 10% of these can be big banks and corporations.
Cybercriminals target large financial institutions, not regular people.
Most newsworthy attacks are those about booty worth millions. These are the heists by cybercriminals that the public is aware about because of media coverage. But cyber theft affects many, many regular people with regular jobs and regular lives. The number of individuals who are victimized and the collective amount stolen are just not publicized.
All my passwords are secure.
You may have secure passwords, but trying to guess them is not the only way that cybercriminals get into your accounts. Various software including keyloggers and cookies are used to tap into your connection and record the username and password combinations you type to log into websites while you are online. The websites can then be revisited at their leisure. What you need to secure is your traffic so the passwords can’t be picked up.
My personal data cannot be enough to hack into my accounts.
A name, telephone number, or email alone may not be enough to access your financial accounts. But together they form a basis for another line of attack. They can be used to search for related information which helps cybercriminals put the pieces together. They can be used, for example, to send you false promotions and get you to reveal what they need. They can be used to answer security questions, or to request for technical support. They can be used to impersonate you so that they are given access.
Cookies are harmless, just for getting back to the pages I often view.
There are many kinds of cookies, and some can be manipulated to gain access to your sensitive data. A username and password can be for almost any website, but with a hijacked cookie, cybercriminals know in a few seconds just where to type them in. So, yes, whatever your reasons for hesitating, stop and just get rid of them. The small conveniences are not worth the risk. No cookies means less annoying pop-up adds, too.
When people make it so easy for these cybercriminals to gain access, there is no need for them to find bigger targets. Big targets may give bigger rewards, but they require more effort. A lot of little fish feed them just as well as one big one would. And little fish are everywhere, ready to swim into the net any day of the week. Don’t reel them in by dropping little bits here and there for them to follow.
Shield yourself against these intrusions by setting up a simple VPN. It doesn’t cost much, and there are so many additional benefits. There should be no question that it’s a very good idea.