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Is it Necessary to Use Cybersecurity While at Home?

Use Cybersecurity While at Home

Cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years. According to studies conducted in 2021, 1 in 4 Americans are working remotely. More precisely, 26% of the American population works from home. Thus, cybersecurity is also important while at home.

This number has significantly increased over recent years with lockdowns and health regulations forcing people to work from home more often. However, this has also encouraged cybercriminals to step up their game.

We always need to be cautious, even if we’re working from our homes, where we believe that we’re safe. Unfortunately cybercrime has developed so much that it is now possible that cyberattacks can happen anywhere and at any time.

Are Your Devices Safe at Home?

The majority of us understand the dangers that we face on public WiFi hotspots. However, not many people understand that you also face risks on your very own internet connection at home.

Cybercriminals can target their attacks against you when you least expect it. For most people this is when they’re comfortable in their own homes, scrolling through social media or streaming videos online.

It is estimated that there is a cyberattack every 11 seconds worldwide. It's a scary thought that these attacks have become so common and so frequent. This is why you need to be prepared at all times and never leave your devices vulnerable.

Cyber attacks can also happen on any device. Hackers can target laptops, phones, or even tablets. You need to keep all of your devices safe. If one of them has been breached, the hacker may have easy access to all your other devices.

What Can Cyber Criminals do to Your Devices?

Cyberattacks are not just as simple as hacking your social media accounts and sending messages to people on your contact list. In the majority of cases they are very serious and can cause real damage to you or your friends and family.

There are several different methods of cybercrime that hackers can use against you. It all depends on their end goal and their intentions. In some cases they are looking to make money, in other cases they are simply looking to make people’s lives more difficult.

One of the most common forms of cyberattacks is to install malicious software. This is also known as malware onto the victim’s devices. Malware comes in different forms, from viruses to ransomware and spyware. All of these are dangerous, and the last thing you want is to have any kind of malware on your device.

Viruses come in different types, and each one has its own characteristics. They range from destroying hardware and operating systems to deleting files and encrypting important data. Some of them can be difficult to get rid of, especially if you don’t have the necessary cybersecurity tools on your devices.

Spyware on the other hand can be installed on your device and used to monitor what you do on your device. This malicious software will keep track of the websites you visit, the login credentials you use and even sometimes what you type on your keyboard. This is of course a serious threat to your privacy and security. Cybersecurity measures while at home can help prevent this.

Ransomware is the most dangerous of all malicious software. It has been estimated that ransomware has caused $20 billion of damage in 2020 alone. The FBI reported an increase of more than 225% in total losses from ransomware in the U.S.

Ransomware is able to encrypt any important files or accounts on your device. The encryption means that you’re not able to access, move or even transfer the files. The encryption will only be removed from the files once you have paid a ransom fee to the hackers.

How Does Malware Make Its Way Onto Devices?

The main way that malware can be installed on your device is through an external source. This can either be fraudulent links online, fake attachments on emails, or something as simple as an external media device (CD, hard drive, USB).

In the majority of cases, online links will be well hidden behind images or popup ads. This makes it extremely difficult to spot them. Once the link has been clicked, the malware will be prompted to download in the background, so you may never even know about it being there.

Malware in email attachments mainly come in the form of phishing emails. These have been perfected over the years by using social engineering. In other words, the hackers will replicate an email from a company that you know and trust. Thus, you are more likely to interact with it and click on the email attachments, which will then prompt the download.

Malware can also be hidden on external media devices. These are just as difficult to spot as you won’t know about malware being on the device until you have plugged it into your laptop, at which point it is most likely too late. The malware will also be disguised, and in most cases won’t show up at all.

How Can You Protect Your Devices?

With malicious software being so well disguised and being capable of making its way onto your device anytime and anywhere, you need to be prepared at all times. The main defense against cyberattacks is antivirus software.

A premium antivirus software is able to constantly scan your device for any malicious software. If any malware has been found on your device, it can then also take action to remove it from your device.

However, you must always ensure that your antivirus software is kept up to date. Software updates are sent out by companies to ensure that their antivirus software is running properly. They are used to fix any potential flaws that have been found in the system. Updated also add extra layers of defense against any new criminal tactics that have been developed recently.

It’s always a good idea to have your antivirus software active at all times. However, you must still be cautious while spending time online to ensure cybersecurity while at home. It is better to avoid a cyberattack than to rely on the antivirus software to remove any malware from your devices.

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