Cybersecurity: The Red Flags and How To Protect Yourself From Them

Throughout the whole month of January, fintech times It will explore every dimension in one of the industry’s most pressing topics: cybersecurity.

As part of today’s coverage of our mini-series all things personal safety, we’ll discover the red flags and signals that your cybersecurity has gone astray, as well as address some of the hurdles businesses and the general public both come up against.

Jonathan Smy, Director of SMY IT Services
Jonathan Smy

One of the most immediate difficulties that could arise is that this connection will be the obstacles to creating a remote workforce. When all risks sit under one roof and on one comprehensive software system, it is easy to manage, like Jonathan Smy, Director SMY IT . Services Shows: “Far from the office protection that many take for granted, the nearly night shift to working from home has opened up a new level of vulnerability to cyberattacks.

“There are no two ways about it – those who work from home are at a much higher risk of experiencing a cyber attack than office workers. The pandemic may have seen traditional crime rates decline, but it has seen online crime rates rise.”

With the reimagining of the corporate organizational structure, the tactic of cybercrime attacks has also been reworked, as Smy explains: “From phishing to ransomware, criminals have taken advantage of home workers, avoiding the robust corporate defense the office provides – with less secure home connections making it easier to access the corporate network and the valuable data it contains.

Simply clicking on the wrong link, replying to the wrong email, or delaying a software update can have serious consequences.”

What are the red flags to watch out for?

  • Unacknowledged Emails – The family giveaway to any cyber attack that occurs through evasive and unfamiliar email activity. This may take the form of emails that you don’t remember sending or having any contact with. Figures from Atlas VPN indicate scammers target business email addresses 60 percent of the time, while Wilsey Tessian found how employee inboxes were clogged 50 percent of malicious emails at the end of last year. Suspicious email activity is one of the first signs you’ll see in the event of an attack, like smoke coming off.
  • Limited access to files – Scammers are like bees to honey when it comes to the valuable contents of your files. If there are malicious practices at work, it is likely that you will have difficulty accessing, manipulating or editing your files, and if you see that one of them has been mysteriously encrypted, you should contact your software provider as soon as possible.
  • Network speeds are slower than usual – recent figures represent how 64 percent of businesses are exposed to attacks across their network, which is why issues with network speed and access often rise as red flags for compromised cybersecurity. This lack of network speed and efficiency is usually due to scammers running unlimited activities in the background of your computer, thus, it is best to avoid connecting to public WiFi.
  • Questionable Pop-ups – In a technology world increasingly reliant on consent, pop-ups and messages asking you to decide the impact of things like “cookies” are becoming something of an anomaly. But in such a predictable environment, the unexpected can strike, increasing vulnerabilities. This is especially true when the pop-ups seem completely unrelated to the activity you’re following on your device. Malicious pop-ups can act as a gateway for criminals and as a red flag for their presence.
  • Complete loss of control – In the worst case, cyber attacks will render your device completely useless. This may involve not being able to log in, proving that your device is being remotely controlled, and often will incur messages demanding ransom for your device and stored information.

How to stay safe online

For the many methods available to attack someone’s cyber security, there are an equal number of precautions that can be taken in response. As email scams become increasingly preventive in the artillery of fraudsters, combating this type of attack is a promising place to start.

Kate Boucherell, Technology Consultant
Kate Boucherell

The tech consultant explains: “It can be hard to spot a phishing email link” Kate NavelBut the clues are generally there when you look. Were you expecting someone to send you a link via email or text? If not, beware. Most companies now won’t send unannounced links. Has the link been shortened, for example As a bit.ly link? Anyone can set up an abbreviated link, and you don’t know where it’s going. Are there extra letters in the name, alternatives like I or a single number instead of lowercase L? When you look at the link, does it have the branding you expect Is there and is it immediately followed by .com or .co.uk in the URL Are you being asked to do something quickly The less time you have to think, the more vulnerable you are Is the language as you expect Are there spelling or grammatical errors Are there Treating you by name or by ‘Dear Customer’? Criminals are smart and the choice from fintech scams is fine. Never click if you’re unsure. If you click on a scam link, it will expose you to malware, or take you to a disguised fake site to enter your details If you are not sure, you can always contact the company’s customer support. They will always be happy to help you And they’ll be glad you checked.”

James Bohr, Director of Bores Consultancy
James Burr

as James Burr, Director Borse Consulting Details, attacks typically center around the emotional response, something users should strive to recognize to avoid indulging in: “The biggest thing I’ve always advocated is keeping an eye on the emotional punch. The vast majority of attacks against someone build an initial hook designed to elicit an emotional response, beyond our natural rational thinking.

This could be fear, as in the case of the ‘your child is in prison and needs to pay bail’ scam, excitement with various ‘opportunities’ to get large sums of money, or anger (exploiting political anger has become a common method of attack). People have taught themselves to respond to those emotional punches by walking away before responding, and ideally checking the information through some other channel, it will prevent the vast majority of attacks.”

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