Hackers are constantly lurking, which is why cybersecurity is a top priority. Malicious scammers may seek to steal data from your computer, encrypt files, demand a ransom to unlock them, extract financial information, or mine cryptocurrencies, among other things.
How do they do it? Through tried-and-true methods, often based on breaching, stealing, or acquiring login credentials, or exploiting software vulnerabilities.
The experts at the global digital security company ESET have identified the four main threats to a computer and present them:
- Phishing: One of the oldest forms of fraud. Cybercriminals disguise themselves as legitimate and trustworthy sources (banks, tech companies, retail stores, etc.) and attempt to persuade users to click on links or open email attachments. This can lead users to a fake website that asks for personal information (such as login credentials or financial details) or may initiate the download of malicious software.
- Drive-by Downloads and Malicious Ads: Sometimes, an innocent visit to a compromised website or one hosting a malicious ad can lead to the download of malicious software. Well-known websites may be less exposed this way, as they have better resources and enhanced protection. However, numerous examples have shown that this is not always the case. That’s why it’s essential to invest in security software from a reputable provider and ensure that your browser’s security settings are correctly configured.
- Digital Skimming: Hackers can also breach the payment pages of e-commerce websites and infect them with malicious software designed to silently collect your card data during input. This is difficult to avoid, as it pertains to the provider. Nevertheless, making purchases from well-known websites can reduce the risk.
- Malicious Apps and Files: Cybercriminals also hide malicious software within seemingly legitimate apps and file downloads. Many of these are published on online forums, P2P platforms, and other third-party sources. Therefore, it’s wise to only download files from reputable sources and use effective security software to guard against malicious software.
Stay vigilant and adopt cybersecurity best practices to protect yourself from these threats.