Cybercrime has been on a constant rise since a long time, with hundreds of people getting attacked every day. Cybercriminals exploit those innocent internet users who are not as technologically versed as they are. As a part of the continuously-growing internet family, you must be well-equipped with latest knowledge about cybercriminals. Let us take you to the cybercrime world just to give you a clear picture about the perpetrators of this crime and their modus operandi.
Who are these People?
They can be anyone from that smart friend of your kid to the IT expert living next-door. Unfortunately, not any specific profile fit cybercriminals, but what’s common in all of them is their extraordinary grip on IT. Most of them even hold professional degrees in computer science. Some of them work individually while hiding their identity from everyone, whereas others collaborate with the cybercrime community and work in groups to gain more benefits. There is a whole community of these people for sharing information, getting help and committing crimes at large level. Unfortunately, cybercriminals hide their true identity from ordinary people. The accounts they use are fake and they use their IT knowledge to keep themselves from getting caught. Most of the people are unaware of the fact that 80% of total damage caused as a result of cybercrimes is done by insiders. Insiders are present within the business organizational and government agencies, making it easier for them to attack.
How They Operate?
The way cybercriminals operate highly varies. Some of them, mostly amateurs, target individuals, while others target business organizations and even the government. Cybercriminals are smart enough to find new ways of committing the same crime again and again. They work in a systematic and disciplined manner, and calculate their every move in order to make sure that they do not land themselves on the radar. They do their homework before attacking anyone just to increase their chances of success.
Here are some of the most commonly used techniques by these IT wizards.
Skimmers: These devices are specially designed to save the credit card information of any person whenever he/she swipes the card through the machine. They can be present anywhere, in your favorite restaurant, nearby shopping mall, gas station, etc.
Social Engineering: This is a smarter way of stealing personal information of people. You may have received a mail saying that you have won a lottery, and you can collect $1,000 by providing your name, telephone number, home address, bank account details, etc. Sometimes, they make up very interesting stories to convince people about sharing their personal information.
Malware: The user either mistakenly downloads any web application, or it automatically gets downloaded with another program, giving the attacker access to the target computer and the network it is connected to.
Hacking: This is something even kids are known to engage in these days. They hack into the computer and steal data, including files and information, of the target, be it their email address or bank account credentials. The next thing the target knows is that his/her bank account is empty.
Botnet: It is also a popular way of exploiting the internet users. It is mainly a network of software robots whose main purpose is to spread the malware on as many computers as possible in order to get control of them.
How to Remain Safe Online?
Cybercrimes are a real threat, not only for individuals, but also for the organizations. Fortunately, you and your business can keep the threat at bay by following a few simple precautions, which are as follows:
- Create strong passwords
- Download an efficient antivirus and anti-malware on your device
- Avoid using public networks
- Be careful while sharing your personal information online
- Encrypt your sensitive data and keep it in a separate location
- Update your operating system on regular basis
- Use multi-factor authentication (explained here)on social media accounts
Do not let any stranger exploit you, misuse your sensitive information, steal your identity, monitor your online activities, steal your bank balance, etc. Keeping cyber criminals at bay is really simply, but only if you exercise due caution.