The global world of internet and Technology renders personal data to be just a click away. As the technology makes personal data to be accessed with ease, this also simplifies the access to this data by attackers with inadvertent and malicious intent to the data.
According to the Daily Monitor News on 28 Jan 2019 brings out the way a hacker stole sensitive and valuable information about export labor recruitments and a number of other sensitive documents from the site.
What are Cyber Criminals after?
Cyber attackers aim at sensitive data like bank account data, personal contacts, health insurance accounts, emails, etc., attached to a person(target). They not only aim at data on personal computers but also are concerned about data over the internet like online banking data, online retailing, social media like Facebook, , Instagram, twitter among others, for example, Facebook has overtime been hacked and millions of users’ accounts have been hacked into.
Identity theft and escalation of rights for attackers is the result of hacking. Once attackers have access to your personal information from all sources, they are able to;
- Open bank accounts in your personal details, hurting your credit score
- Use your credit card to make large purchases wherever they may be
- Steal your money from your bank accounts, financial stores and also from others close to you or connected to you like for the case of Joint stoke firms
- Sell your personal information on black market for financial gains
How can you protect yourself from Cyber Criminals?
In order to protect from the reach of attackers, it’s important to understand the methodology that they use to penetrate into computers, cloud accounts, networks and mobile devices.
Hackers use methods like the use of; malware, phishing, cross site scripting (XSS), mobile apps, password cracking/bypassing among others.
Use of Malware and Phishing schemes
Earlier, in April 2014 after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was signed into law, the LGBTI community in Uganda was reportedly targeted by Zeus malware, a spyware often used to steal banking information through techniques including keystroke logging and form grabbing. Human rights defenders routinely report office break-ins, thefts of servers and other computer material and hacking of websites, according to the State of Privacy for Uganda Report on Jan 2019
Cyber attackers access personal/target’s information including, email addresses, contacts, account numbers among others from which they use this information, they use it to send emails with malicious content, which when clicked by the target persons infects the browsers at the targets’ computers and whatever is fed onto the browser is stored on a database at the attacker’s side.
The hacker now uses this information to access online accounts of the target, get into online banking accounts and there will be no more data integrity over the internet. The information accessed may include security access physical security too and hence once attackers have access to the physical devices like personal computers, Lockers among others, then they are able to steal more of physical data and money than while on internet.
Hackers may opt to use malware which is malicious software whose purpose is to cause harm to your computer, steal or erase or encrypt personal data, and alters the core computer purpose, and monitor your activity without your consent.
The malware is downloaded by the users through links in emails, social media, text messages etc. Computer malware software comes in forms like viruses, spyware, ransomware, among others.
Use of Mobile Apps
According to Luke Bencie, Camille and Maxime about how hackers are targeting your mobile phone, say that the 2016 report on mobile security by Inter-trust, the cost of mobile app hacks and breaches will reach $1.5 billion by 2021. Yet mobile device security often gets less attention than security for network systems.
Hacker’s Idea that the rate at which smartphones are acquired is high, eye opens him that this will cause demand for Application software (Mobile Apps) on the app store and hence infect the most usable apps even on legitimate sites like Google where most people download these apps. Once the infected Apps are downloaded onto the mobile devices, the malware embed is installed onto the mobile device giving access to information like emails, contacts, etc. stored on the device.
Malware can be used by hackers to hijack your phone and send text messages, make illegitimate calls, record your phone conversations, and factory reset or wipe your phone.
Precautions to take to secure yourself from losing your classified data to hackers
As far as securing our clients over internet threats is concerned, Summit Consulting Ltd guides you on how to shield yourself against the prevailing attacks or to recover from the former attacks and strengthen on your security levels before the next happening.
- Take note, do not necessarily click attachments to emails sent to you unless its intended and you trust the source.
- To this point, you should have up-to-date licensed internet security software installed that is comprised of antivirus and anti-spyware protection. These programs should be automatically set to scan and maintain the software up-to-date.
- You should review app permissions before downloading all mobile apps onto your mobile device.
- Continually check your personal accounts and correct any discrepancies as soon as possible.
- Unknown programs should never be downloaded to your computer.
- Set your operating system to update automatically.
- Take note to have a unique strong password for all accounts using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Ensure daily file Back up to help you restore data in the event of a ransomware attack.
No one is safe when it comes to cyber criminals, everyone is a target. Having sensitive data calls for their attention, they want it for malicious and self-satisfying intent. It being impossible to prevent all attacks, precautions that you may follow to protect your sensitive and confidential data from reach by attackers