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Cybersecurity in Everyday Life:

Don't think about cybersecurity? You should.

Cybercrime is on the rise and has been for a few years now. According to ITgovernance.com, there were 1,243 security incidents, which accounted for 5,126,930,507 breached records.
Mile2 Cyber Security Certification

Information Security Starts with the Average Person

The internet is and has been a part of our lives. It is how we communicate, shop, and work. The online world, similar to the real world, still has its own dangers. Cybercrime is on the rise and has been for a few years now. According to ITgovernance.com, there were 1,243 security incidents, which accounted for 5,126,930,507 breached records. This is an 11% increase in cyber attacks compared to 2020. When we talk about cybersecurity and cybercrime, often the first things that come to mind are government level operations that require that level of security. For example: schools, hospitals, governmental agencies, military, ect. However, cybersecurity is for everyone and can be effective in your everyday life as well. In this article, we’ll discuss several common types of cyberattacks and how you can prevent them in your everyday life. What is a cyberattack? A cyberattack is when an attacker, otherwise known as hacker, tries to gain unauthorized access to a system. There are countless types of cyberattacks, but these are the most common.

11% increase of cyberattacks in 2 years

Increases in Malware, Ransomware, and Phishing

1. Malware

Malware, otherwise known as malicious software, is an intrusive software. It is designed to damage or even destroy computers and their systems. Malware basically refers to any intrusive software developed by cybercriminals. Viruses, worms, spyware, and ransomware are all forms of malware.

Virus

Viruses are a subgroup of malware. A virus is malicious software attached to a document or file. Once that software is downloaded the virus can take effect. They are designed to disrupt a system’s ability to operate efficiently.

Worms

Worms are malicious software that quickly replicates and spreads to any device. A worm infects a device from a download file or a network connection before it multiplies.


Spyware
Spyware, unlike viruses or worms, runs secretly on a computer and reports back to a remote user. Spyware specifically targets sensitive information and grants access to predators. This way, they can steal financial personal information or reveal passwords.


Ransomware
Ransomware gains access to sensitive information within a system and prevents the user from accessing that information until a ransom is paid. Ransomware is often part of a phishing scam. When the attacker receives the payment, the data is unlocked. However, in some cases, not all of the data is returned even after the payment.
The Colonial Pipeline, a company responsible for bringing nearly 50% of the U.S East Coast’s fuel, faced a ransomware attack in 2021. This hack took down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S and led to shortages across the East Coast all as a result of a compromised password. The password appeared on the dark web suggesting the employee maybe used the same password for an account that was previously hacked. One week later, a ransom note arrived demanding cryptocurrency and a lot of it. The entire pipeline was then shut down completely. All of this over compromising one password, something that was easily preventable.

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2. Phishing

A phishing attack occurs when the attacker tries to trick an unsuspecting victim into handing over sensitive information like passwords, credit cars details, ect. Phishing attacks often arrive in the form of an email. These emails will disguise themselves as a legitimate organization such as your bank or another trusted unit.


In February of 2022, a man by the name of Benjamin was involved in a phishing scam. Benjamin attempted to deposit a $300,000 check at a Regions bank in Indianapolis. However, it was discovered that the check was illegally obtained through a phishing attack that targeted two Louisiana companies. Benjamin poses, via email, as a representative from one of the companies and convinced the same company to send a 300K check. When he attempted to deposit the check, it was marked at fraud, and he was jailed. However, 300K was still compromised.


Something as simple as opening the wrong link, downloading the wrong thing, or even using the wrong password can compromise your information. Enterprises end up paying huge fines or even going out of business because of a simple hack to their systems. However, there are things you can do to prevent cyberattacks.

Something as simple as opening the wrong link, downloading the wrong thing, or even using the wrong password can compromise your information.

What Can You Do?

1. Keep your software updated

Microsoft and Apple often release updates for their systems, and it is a good idea to keep up with these updates because they can include patches in security.

2. Think twice about clicking links or downloading anything

In the real world, most people would be suspicious about stepping into an old, dark, abandoned building with a sign that says, “Free Puppies!” you should adopt those same cautions on the web. Unfamiliar sites, emails, or video programs are great places to get caught in phishing scams. Searching for reviews or further information before taking on the unknown is a great way to protect yourself from these scams. This also includes being careful when opening random email attachments or images.

3. Don't trust pop-up windows that ask you to download software

When searching the wed, you may come across pop-ups claiming your computer has a virus or other things that ask you to download software, It is a tick. Close the pop-up windows and don’t click inside of them. It will protect you.

4. Exercise Common Sense

Lastly, always be cautious. Much of the cyberattacks and data breaches can be prevented through using stronger passwords, not clicking random links, avoiding pop-ups, ect. It is much more common to come across preventable attacks than non-preventable, complex attacks. Familiarize yourself with the different types of attacks and use these tips and tricks to protect yourself. Use cybersecurity in your everyday life and protect yourself as well as others you care about.

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Cybersecurity Certifications for Today's INFOSEC Careers

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Our training courses follow our role-based Certification Roadmap. Plus, many of our classes include hands-on skill development in our Cyber Range.  We train students in penetration testing,disaster recovery, incident handling, and network forensics.  Additionally, our Information Assurance training certification meets military, government, private sector and institutional specifications.  

 

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