Cybersecurity Threats To Watch Out For When Going Online

Going online is all fun until your device suddenly starts acting weird and then you realize that you’ve been hacked. Cyber threats are no joke and staying ignorant can be quite harmful to you and those around you.

That’s right! Hackers not only attack your device but access every other node linked with your device or your network. That is why should choose an internet provider that implements robust cybersecurity measures.

For that, we recommend that you connect with Windstream as it offers competitive internet services with outclass protective measures. Windstream prioritizes customer protection and ensures that its services come with high-end cyber protection measures.

Now then that’s settled, it’s time to look at some mounting cybersecurity threats that you should be vary of when going online:

  1. Ransomware

One of the common and quite dangerous cyberattacks is ransomware. Like common hacking, ransomware ends with the hacker extorting money from the victim with the choice of offering them their data.

What happens is that the hacker, using any hacking technique, corrupts the data on the victim’s device. Once that is done, the victim leaves a note indicating that the attack has occurred and the data will be released (decrypted) once the victim pays the ransom money.

In many cases, the hacker bluffs about reversing the effect takes the ransom money, and flees. Several organizations have faced this hassle, resulting in losing millions just to recover sensitive information from hackers.

That is why it’s recommended to:

  • Identify and delete unrecognized emails with attachments (particularly about due payments).
  • Avoid visiting unsecured links/ sites.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi.
  • Avoid logging in on every site.
  1. Phishing Attacks & Social Engineering

We’ve mentioned above how one should not keep logging in and creating an account on every site or link they visit. This is because of phishing, another common cyber threat that haunts many users. In simpler words, phishing is using fake login pages (inputs) to get login credentials and using them for any purpose the hacker wants.

This also leads to social engineering, where the hacker interacts with the potential target emotionally, collects login credentials somehow, and uses it for unfair means. It’s one of the primary ways of identity theft (we’ll discuss this later), which causes mass havoc for the victim.

For avoiding phishing, ensure you’re visiting credible links and watch out for fake links that look similar to the real ones. Moreover, ensure to contact the relevant company if you find anything fishy regarding their profiles (some hackers promote discounts from an organization and ask people to log in with their profiles).

  1. Retail Data Hacks

Retail data hacks affect a wide range of people. These are attacks made on retail businesses such as Tesco, Walmart, etc. As a result, the information of thousands of customers stored on the store’s database is hacked and used as wished.

Most importantly, the payment credentials are used for extorting money. It’s not just the retail stores that may get affected by it. The hackers may consider any potential site that is acquiring online payments from the customers.

Considering the scale of its sales and the number of customers visiting and buying, the hackers may attempt to steal information and use it for their means. That is why ensure that the site you’re shopping online from has secured itself and has left almost no margin for such attacks.

Otherwise, it’s better to opt for alternative methods of payment instead of paying online and attaching your credit card information. You can also remove your payment method later.

  1. Identity Theft

As highlighted earlier, hackers may approach potential targets with social engineering phishing methods. This results in the victims sharing their credentials to various online profiles and ending up losing their accounts.

It’s quite dangerous as in many cases the hacker will present themselves as trustworthy enough to be given such sensitive information. However, once they acquire it, they’ll most likely use it for unfair means, which can be catastrophic.

Identity theft is no joke, and before you know it, your name might be circulating in PDs required for online theft, online harassment, or any kind of crime you can imagine. Therefore, it’s important to know who’s asking for your credentials. Also, ensure to update them whenever you can, especially if you’ve logged in using a different device/ network other than yours.

  1. Healthcare Data Hacks

Just like retail hacks, healthcare data hacks involve attacks on healthcare databases that have patient details. These details include name, address, next of kin, payment method details, and other related personal information.

The hacker may use this information for extorting money, blackmailing, or even identity theft. However, in this case, it’s the sole responsibility of the healthcare institutions to ensure high-end cybersecurity to avoid such an instance.

The patient, if concerned, should relay this to the facility and request for their information to be completely erased/ disposed of. However, this usually doesn’t happen since medical facilities keep track of patients’ information in case they’ve been admitted again and medical history is required to proceed.

Also read: Make your life easier with these top 7 macOS tricks

Closing Thoughts

Our online world is full of such threats that can wreak havoc on the customers. Even with the strongest firewall and defenses, hackers can still find a way to infiltrate and cause potential damage. That is why one must remain vigilant, ensure to get a secure internet connection, and optimize online security using security suites. Apart from that, one should stay updated on online threats and take necessary steps to protect oneself from them too!