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This article was originally published 18 months ago. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated, or information may longer be applicable. Please consider this when viewing the below content.
Online security should be a high priority for both individuals and businesses. Rather than being unconcerned, we should be proactive in reducing our risk. In 2015, cyber security threats are very real and could come in the way of ransomware, cyber espionage, cyber theft and password cracking.
In 2014, “advanced attackers targeted 5 out of 6 large companies”, and “60% of all targeted attacks struck small – medium sized organizations”. “Ransomware attacks grew 113 percent in 2014, driven by a more than 4,000 percent increase in crypto-ransomware attacks … The victim will be offered a key to decrypt their files, but only after paying a ransom that can range from US$300-$500 with no guarantee that their files will be freed”. (Source: Symantec Blog)
National Consumer Fraud Week 2015 was held recently here in Australia, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Institute of Public Accountants hosted a free forum on small business scams and cybercrime. You can watch the replay below, it goes for a while so make yourself a cuppa before you sit down. It is interesting, and scary to learn about the risks we are dealing with each day.
Scammers steal your personal details to commit fraudulent activities. They may make unauthorised purchases on your credit card, or use your identity to open accounts such as banking, telephone or energy services. They might take out loans or carry out other illegal business under your name. They may even sell your information to other scammers for further illegal use.”
Although it may be difficult to stop an attacker who decides to target you, there are some simple steps you can take to substantially reduce your risks of falling prey to scams: