Cybersecurity, also known as computer security, is the field of protecting devices connected to the internet from various cyber-attacks. Phishing, spamming, malware attacks, password attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, DOS (Denial of Service), and DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) SQL injection attacks are some major cyber-attacks that occur all around the world.
Cyber security professionals are computer experts who work on increasing the security of internet applications.
Due to the rapid growth of hackers (cyber criminals), cyber security engineers cannot always protect us from being hacked.
In most cases, they only consider the security of web applications and network systems. There’s no way a cyber security professional can protect you from attacks like phishing, malware attacks, and password cracking.
Therefore it’s good practice to learn what these attacks are and how to prevent them.
In this blog post, we will discuss the most common cyber attacks and five cybersecurity tips you can use to save yourself from getting hacked while browsing the internet.
Top 3 cyber security attacks
1. Malware attacks
Attacks done using malicious software viruses are known as malware attacks. Worms, spyware, trojans, adware, and ransomware are some examples of malicious software.
Worm – A worm is malicious software that replicates itself once it gets into someone’s computer. A single worm in one computer has the ability to spread into a whole computer network.
Spyware – Spyware is malicious software that’s used to spy on victims’ computers to obtain sensitive information. Attackers are able to get your login credentials, browser activity, and much more.
Trojans – A Trojan is a malware that downloads into your computer as legitimate software. You can receive a trojan using an email or as a downloadable link. Suppose the attacker manages to make you download it. In that case, the trojan waits until you enter any sensitive information and sends them to the attacker, allowing the attacker to gain control of your online accounts.
Adware – Adware is software that serves you advertisements without your knowledge of you. They’ll just hide in your computer to display advertisements. Some adware can even track your online behaviour.
Ransomware – Ransomware is software that locks your computer. If ransomware gets into your computer, you won’t be to perform any activity. This software asks for a ransom to unlock your computer again.
In general, attackers find the vulnerability (weakness) of a network system. They then use the vulnerability to send malware into the system. When someone clicks on it, the malware gets downloaded to your computer. Malware can also spread when using infected pen drives.
2. Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are one of the most common cyber attacks in 2022. It’s because it’s very easy to conduct a phishing attack.
Phishing attacks are a form of social engineering attacks in which the attacker pretends to be a trustworthy person for you. He may act like someone from your office or someone really close to you. Attackers are well-prepared individuals who conduct an information-gathering phase before attacking someone.
In this phase, they gather as much information about the targeted victims. This gathered information is used to conduct their attack. For example, let’s say your company’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. An attacker might use a Gmail called email@example.com, which you won’t notice extra L here to pretend it’s an email from your company.
This is a common way that attackers use to make them trustworthy.
Once the attacker can pretend to be trustworthy, he can make you click on the link he emails. These emails can be malware or will direct you to a login page like Instagram or FB or an online account that’s useful to him.
It will look exactly like the real Instagram or Facebook login page, where you won’t even notice the difference. However, once you enter your credentials, the attackers get your login email and password, allowing the attacker to have full control of your account. This is just a simple example of a phishing attack. Attackers are advanced people with a lot of multiple ways to utilize this attack.
3. Password attacks
Password attacks are attacks conducted by cracking your password using various tools. Basically, attackers are trying to guess your password using various combinations. To prevent these types of attacks, you will have to use long passwords with special characters. Brute force attacks and dictionary attacks are examples of common password attacks.
Top 5 cyber security safety tips for browsing the internet safely.
1. Always use anti-virus software
Antivirus software has an updated database of all the common and latest attacks. These database gets updated regularly. So when browsing the internet or downloading files, your antivirus software will always warn you before downloading a harmful file. Moreover, you can scan your downloaded documents to see if they are virus free.
McAfee, Kaspersky, Avast Antivirus, and Norton Antivirus are some of the best antivirus software. You can use also use online anti-malware software like Malware bytes.
Tip – Always keep your antivirus software updated. So that your anti-virus software database gets updates, and you’ll be able to prevent the latest attacks.
2. Always use a firewall
Just like antivirus software, firewalls filter incoming and outgoing traffic of computers. Due to the increase of cyber activities all around the world, the use of firewalls has become much more important.
The windows operating system and MAC Operating system come with pre-installed firewalls. Always keep your firewall switched on to prevent any unauthorized data from accessing your computer.
3. DO NOT click any links from people you don’t know
It’s just simple if you don’t know someone, don’t click any link they send. As we discussed in the phishing examples, attackers might use similar names of your company or a person you know. Make sure to double check open before clicking on the links of the Email addresses you receive.
Another opinion would be to text and ask them the person who sent you an email whether he or she sent you an email. This way, you can confirm if it’s the real person who sent you an email. Once again, I warn you, DO NOT click on links sent by unknown people.
4. Keep your Operating systems, browsers and apps updated
Just like antivirus software operating systems, browsers and apps are also constantly being updated. When they find issues in their software, they add patches and make them safer to use. If you are not updating your Operating systems or other applications, you will be vulnerable to vulnerabilities that have already been updated on the newer versions.
So constantly stay updated with the software on your computer. Otherwise, attackers might use it to their advantage to gain control of your device.
5. Use stronger passwords and constantly update them
Always use a stronger password with numbers, letters, higher case letters, lower case letters, and symbols. Make it longer, as it will become harder to crack your password. Also, assign a time duration for yourself and regularly update your passwords. For example, you can update your password every week, every month, likewise.
Now, if you follow all the above steps, it would be more than enough for you to browse the internet without getting a cyber attack from a cyber-criminal.
The number of cyber criminals in the world is increasing rapidly. It is important for people to know the most common cyber attacks and how to prevent them. As we have already discussed, with five cyber security safety tips, it’s your duty to follow these steps and protect yourself.