It’s no secret that many people in the world have become dependent on technology in their daily lives. Reliance on the internet comes the likely chance that your information could be compromised without you even knowing. The importance of understanding cybersecurity trends is essential to ensuring that your info will remain and continue to be secure in the future. There are, of course, ways to protect yourself from the frustrations of stolen data and these tips should be heeded while you go about your online business. 

Types of Attacks You May Experience

Pretexting 

      Pretexting is a social engineering tactic that uses deception and false motives. Pretexting means crafting fictional situations to grab personal or sensitive information from a previously researched victim. They could pull this information from many different data sources, called Open Source Intelligence. Once someone collects the data, they use it to manipulate and deceive the victim to get what they want. The main goal of this tactic is to gain the trust of a target and exploit it for gains that could be financial or even political. These situations could be in person or over the phone. 

Phishing 

      Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive emails and websites. The goal of this method is to trick the recipient into believing the email is legit and to engage in it by clicking on links or downloading attachments. This form of information stealing is the oldest and dates back to the 1990s. It’s the most widespread form of stealing information and has been getting more and more sophisticated as time goes on. Many people fall for it who are not used to looking more deeply into the wording of the email address that the spoofed email is sent from. 

Sniffing (communication level) 

      Sniffing is the process of monitoring and capturing all data packets passing through a given network. This information can be usernames, passwords, secret codes, banking details or any information which is of value to the attacker. There are two types of sniffing that is seen, active and passive. Active sniffing involves launching an Address Resolution protocol, spoofing, or traffic-flooding attack against a switch I order to capture traffic. Passive sniffing involves listening and capturing traffic but not interacting with it. Make sure that your internet routers have a long password and the login info is changed from the default “admin” login that is standard.

Spoofing

      Spoofing is when someone or something pretends to be something else in an attempt to gain one’s confidence, get access to our systems, steal data, steal money, or spread malware. There are plenty of spoofing methods such as email, website, caller ID, texts, GPS, IP, etc. Many victims see the recognized name of a large company that they may trust such as Apple, Spotify, or Amazon and click on whatever link they see in an email. This, of course, can cause the spread of malware or even ransomware. It’s important to really check to see where an email is coming from and taking the extra steps to ensure it can be completely trusted.

Hacking 

      Hacking is the most recognizable term in this list and refers to activities that seek to compromise digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and even entire networks. When you hear the word ‘hacking’ you may be predisposed to thinking of it as a solely malicious action, but that is not always the case. There happens to be a few different types of hacking that involve companies paying for these talented individuals to breach into their systems and exposing security risks that they can now fix. There are constantly new methods coming out every day where those who want to break the law can cost the world billions in damages. 

What to Look Out For

Poorly Written Emails

      When reading an email from a professional business or organization there is an expectation that the email will be written with clear thought and limited errors. If you see an email with blatant grammar issues there is a large chance that the sender does not have your best interests at heart. Make sure to read everything carefully as you start to validate the intention of the sent email.

Misspelled URLs

      When accessing a website, be sure to check the domain name with more than just a  glance. A lot of the time scammers will make a domain name that looks official but it’s not quite the same. For example, there is wallmart.com, but, they can try and make it walllmart.com with the extra “l”. 

Suspicious Links

      If there is a link in the email leading to a website be wary of clicking it, and if you do, putting your information in it too. If a link is leading you somewhere, say, a customer support page to update your credit card information, try to call the business that is asking or accessing your account from their main website by searching out their official domain. 

The Vulnerability of Tampa and Clearwater Florida

      Tampa is no stranger to attacks against its internet properties as displayed in the recent past. The Tampa-St.Petersburg area was even ranked the 10th most vulnerable U.S metro area for cybersecurity threats. Even more worrying, last October the city of St. Petersburg’s website was hacked leading to some 28,000 people’s information being compromised, including that of their credit cards. Everybody should be aware of their information security and how to minimize damage because, in this day and age of internet dependency, it is not a matter of “if, its a matter of “when”.

Websults is Dedicated to Security

      Websults is dedicated to maintaining your site to ensure that it is the best that it can be. In this world of an increased need for information security, we will assist you with questions that you may have pertaining to our services. Feel free to contact us at (727) 597-7300.

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