Future of Digital Assaults

Right now you’re probably either being hacked, or helping hack into someone else’s computer without even realizing it. Approximately 44 percent of Internet consumers were victims of some type of cybercrime in 2017.

In the near future, algorithms will find your weakest links, and hackers will exploit them, and then use your devices to prey on other people. Hackers aren’t just kids messing with the status quo for funzies. They’re cunning individuals, who oftentimes have mischevious, somewhat targeted goals.

But you’re just a regular person. There’s no reason anybody would hack you, because you’ve got nothing they could benefit from. Right? Wrong.
Hackers these days, and in the future, aren’t just preying on the rich and powerful. You still have a bank account or a Social Security number. And if you’re not being safe online, you will be targeted by the algorithms hackers are using to find vulnerabilities and getting hacked could be as simple as opening a link on a corrupted email.

With just that click, a hacker can redirect your computer to a site that downloads malware, which can give that hacker complete access to your computer, without you even realizing it. From there, they can steal any information they want. Like your company’s list of clients to sell on the black market for instance. Hackers with bigger plans can use your computer to launch similar attacks on others. That repeats exponentially, and pretty quickly a hacker can have his or her tentacles all over a large network of computers and use that to launch an even larger hacking attack.

These digital assaults can cause websites to crash and go offline so that nobody can access them. That could be a banking web site, the Federal Government’s Affordable Housing website, or any other website you can think of. And you helped make that happen because you weren’t protecting yourself online. So, how do you avoid this? Corrupted links oftentimes will have spelling errors like Netfix.com, missing the L, or Amazom.com with an M instead of an N. These are supposed to be difficult to spot with a quick glance, in order to get you to click on them.

Things that are hyperlinked are even more precarious, but they can be reviewed by hovering your mouse above the link. Overall, the best way to protect yourself in these circumstances is actually just to open up a new tab and go to the website yourself. That way, you know you won’t be redirected to any suspicious sites. Using antivirus software like Norton, Zonealarm or McAfee can also help you stay safe – or at the very least, alert you if your system ever gets breached and if you can’t afford those paid programs, there are some great free options, like Avast free antivirus, or Bitdefender antivirus free edition. Fortifying your computer’s security doesn’t need to come at a cost. But the information you might lose if you don’t will. Above all, don’t store any sensitive content on your computer. Bank account information, credit card numbers, Social Security digits, none of it.

Cybersecurity experts suggest that the best way to handle information like this is to take a picture of it, and store that photo in a secure physical drawer somewhere. That way you can always have access to it, and you won’t be compromised if your computer ever gets hacked. Of course all these rules apply to your phone as well, as our pocket sized computers are also susceptible to hacking. The internet contains a lot of love and fun times, and at best, cute cat videos. But just like the real world, there’s dangers we’re all susceptible to. Luckily, we can prevent the vast majority of them by hanging onto our street smarts and being vigilant to both our real and our digital surroundings.