Top 5 Things to Do to Avoid Being a Victim of Cybercrime4 min read

Cyber crime may sound like something out of a novel but as the world moves online, it’s becoming a harder problem to ignore. With nearly all parts of our identity from pictures to social security numbers plastered over the internet and social media, there are lots of things you’ll need to do to ensure you have the best protection from cybercrime.

Why is Cybercrime a Problem Today

One of the biggest reasons you might fall victim to cyber crime is that much of our daily lives’ centers around the internet. Cyber crime is a broad term used to describe any type of illegal activity that takes place over the internet or with a computer.

Everything from paying for your coffee to sharing information via email is conducted over the internet and is subject to cybercrime and cyber theft.

What is Cybertheft?

One unique aspect of cybercrime is cybertheft. This is any type of theft that uses a computer or the internet.

The most common types of cybertheft are:

  • Scams
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Misappropriation of funds
  • Identity theft

By hacking into payment systems, thieves can snag millions of dollars in seconds and compromise credit and debit cards. Not only is cybertheft centered around scams or schemes by thieves, it’s often done by people with access to the accounts. This counts as cybertheft too!

The question remains: what can you do to protect yourself from cybercrime?

The top 5 things you can do are:

  1. Strengthen your home network
  2. Teach your children about online safety
  3. Keep all software updated
  4. Use strong passwords
  5. Utilize two-factor or multi-factor authentication

Strengthen Your Home Network

The number one thing you can do to protect yourself from cybercrime is to strengthen your home network. Exposing your passwords, payment options, and information to the outside world is the easiest way for thieves to steal from you.

There are two key ways that you can strengthen your home network is by choosing a hard to guess encryption password and investing in a VPN. A VPN acts as a gateway between your computer and the outside internet, utilizing the encryption password to hide your activity from everyone outside of your network.

Teach your Children About Online Safety

Cybercrime isn’t only about cybertheft! There are also people who would take advantage of a young person in any number of ways.

To keep your children safe, teach them the ways to recognize a scam, bully, or predator when online. They should protect their information, identity, and location not just on the computer but on phones and tablets as well.

Rather than sharing every detail of their lives, anyone on the internet, especially kids should mistrust everyone they meet online. Keeping their information to themselves will help keep predators, bullies, and thieves at bay!

Keep all your Software Updated

Investing in a VPN is just the first step when it comes to protecting your home network and computer system. You’ll want software that works in conjunction with your computer and hardware to create an impenetrable firewall.

Thieves and criminals that are using the internet to create havoc in your home often look for gaps in your software. These holes in security are easy ways to access your information and often happen when you let your subscription lapse. Keep these up to date so you never let your firewall fall.

Use Strong Passwords

It’s really easy to choose passwords that are easy to remember or use them across platforms. Many cybercriminals mine your social media and easily available information to find the keys and passwords to your information!

Choose passwords that are a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to ensure the odds of a criminal using your social media to guess passwords are minimized. As tempting as it is to repeat passwords in order to make it easy to remember, use different ones for each website so you protect yourself from cybercrime and the criminals who would take advantage.

There are lots of programs you can use that offer easy pattern password ideas so you don’t need to try to invent new ones all the time!

Utilize Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication

This is one area that has quickly grown when it comes to protecting your information. Multi-factor authentication requires that you give multiple pieces of information before allowing you access. Two-factor authentication requires just two pieces of information! Simple but effective.

There are three main areas and factors that you’re required to enter in order to gain access. You’ll have to provide knowledge (keyword or password), possession (one-time password), and inherence (fingerprint, retina scan, or voice recognition) in order to gain access to your information.

By setting up this type of authentication, you keep criminals at bay who would have almost no hope of guessing all the information at once!

Takeaway

As more and more of our daily lives moves online, it can quickly start to feel like your information is exposed, everywhere you go. But to keep yourself and your family safe, you’ll want to invest in top-level security through strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and education about cyber safety.