Regardless of how disturbing the news about hacker activity gets, many people still remain sure that it’s something they will never deal with themselves. Yet, the unsettling truth is that at some point, we all will become victims of cybercriminals. That’s why we wanted to bust the most widely-spread beliefs that are not true.
You’re safe until you don’t look for inappropriate things online
Many users believe that if they stay away from any illicit information on the internet, they avoid being targeted by hackers. While this statement is not completely wrong — you do put yourself at a higher risk if you look for inappropriate content. But you still have a lot of chances to become a victim even if all you do is popping on Facebook several times a day and looking for cake recipes online.
Here are tactics you might suffer from:
Phishing — hackers send fake emails to any person whose email address they have. So if you are registered on any website (and we’re sure you are), you are at risk. Today hackers can personalize malicious messages and make them more believable thanks to big data. So always check the email of a sender, look for mistakes in the text, and think twice before clicking any links and downloading files you’ve received in an email.
WiFi exploits — public WiFis are something we’re used to as there is a wireless network virtually everywhere. But routers in public places are rarely protected from hackers. Moreover, malefactors can create their own hotspots to lure victims. If the public network was compromised or it’s fake, and you’ve connected to it, hackers will have access to your device and all the information. That’s why you should use a VPN app every time you connect to an unsafe WiFi spot. iNinja VPN will hide your device from prying eyes.
Malicious ads — hackers often put fake banners online. These ads look legitimate but lead to an infected website. Once you click such an ad, you’ll be taken to a page that could install some malware on your device. Cybersecurity professionals spotted many malicious ads that were disguised as advertisements for popular services such as Spotify.
You should remember that you’re at risk if you’re connected to the Internet even if you don’t do anything inappropriate there. That’s why professionals advise users to always turn on their VPN app and be careful.
Only computers are at risk
If you think that you’re safe because you’re using your phone or tablet to browse the internet, think twice. Any device can get hacked, even your smart fridge or gaming console. So don’t fool yourself into believing that you’re not going to become a victim if you stay away from laptops. You can get targeted by hackers through those same phishing emails, compromised WiFis, or fake ads we were discussing above.
Moreover, when it comes to portable devices, another risk joins the party — malicious apps. While app stores do their best trying to protect users from scammers, it’s impossible to detect every fake application. So always be cautious when downloading new apps and allow them access to services carefully. If an application asks permissions it doesn’t need, chances are high it’s a fake app.
If you use an antivirus, you’re safe
It’s vital to use antivirus software to stay protected from malware. But this tool is not enough anymore as hackers use not only viruses to reach their goals. Phishing emails can fool you into giving away private data without any malware. Criminals don’t need viruses to get into your device through an unprotected WiFi network. A malefactor could use a fake website to get sensitive information. The list can go on.
Scams that don’t require viruses are way more common than you might imagine. That’s why you shouldn’t fully rely on an antivirus — however, it doesn’t dismiss the necessity of this tool. In addition to using an antivirus, you should be attentive at all times and use iNinja which is a free VPN app for iOS, Android, and desktop devices.
There is no important data on my device
Well, it doesn’t matter if you don’t keep any sensitive information on your phone or laptop. You still might have it stored somewhere in the cloud storage, for example. And you definitely log into the services online. Hackers can find value in every user, especially if you’re utilizing a device for work, too.
The latter needs a closer look. If you’re using your laptop or phone to perform work tasks and access corporate data, it’s not just about you anymore. You might be putting your organization at risk. Malefactors can spread malware through your device and infect the whole corporate network to gain access to desired data. Also, they can steal your passwords thus accessing sensitive information. Phishing is also a popular tool for hackers when it comes to compromising the safety of organizations — they need just one employee to take the bait so that they can achieve their malicious goals.
Most companies store lots of highly sensitive data of their clients such as bank card details, passwords, addresses, and so on. And if an organization becomes a victim of hackers, so do its customers. The cost of such an attack can be tremendous. In the worst-case scenario, a company might fall apart. That’s the reason why many employers demand that their team members use a VPN app when they’re working remotely.
You can notice if your device is infected
That’s true for old-school malware. Modern viruses don’t overload the system and tend to work quietly without causing you any troubles until hackers get what they want. Malware can gather the required data within minutes after you’ve got infected. And you won’t even notice that something is going on.
You can’t be a target if you have nothing to hide
Many people think that they won’t be of interest to hackers if they have no secrets from this world. But you still have data you’d like to remain private to you — your banking details, logins and passwords, and so on. Additionally, as we have already mentioned, malefactors can use you to get into the network of an organization you’re working for. Finally, they can infect your device with ransomware and demand a hefty fee for unblocking it. And that’s just a tip of an iceberg.
Strong passwords will protect you
They will, but not from everything. Even the strongest combination can’t protect you from phishing, for example. Also, credential stuffing software malefactors use can guess even reliable passwords. That’s why it’s important to use two-factor authentication if the service offers it. Thus, you’ll need to perform an additional action besides just entering your login and password to enter your account. For example, you might need to enter a temporary code sent to your phone via SMS.
Always be cautions
Malefactors come up with new ways to get what they want, and all cybersecurity specialists can do is to try keeping up with this race. There always will be threats that have no security solution yet. So be attentive, use an antivirus and iNinja VPN to stay safe at all times.