In 2020, more than 800 million malware cases were reported. With 94% of these infections delivered through email, no device was immune to these infections as they wreaked havoc on computers and mobile devices alike.
With technological advancements, PC threats advance every day as hackers find new ways to access computers to steal important data or covertly use the computer resources for crypto mining. The best way to protect yourself from pc threats is to stay informed about the latest threats and how to remain protected.
Cybersecurity Risks facing PC users today
The term malware is used to describe different types of cyberattacks. It refers to any malicious program designed to exploit computer security vulnerabilities or hard the computer system.
When a malware program successfully accesses a PC, it can perform various malicious activities, including deleting, encrypting, stealing data, monitoring user activity, and even hijacking key computer functions rendering the PC unusable. Common malware programs include Trojan horses, worms, viruses, and spyware.
Malware can be distributed to a PC through USB drives, Hard Drives, or downloads.
Social engineering attacks
These types of PC attacks rely on social or human interactions and bots to enter a computer. This is one of the most significant security risks to PC users today since it exploits human error. According to reports, at least 90% of business data breaches occur through employee engagement with socially engineered attacks.
In a social engineered attack, the hacker tricks the PC user into disclosing private information that can give them access to data or software in a computer network. These attacks manipulate victims into breaking security procedures.
A common socially engineered attack is making someone think they are helping a person in need. The attacker poses as a fellow employee, family, or friend who needs access to bank accounts, private documents, or sensitive data. Once they earn the trust, they get the information they need to compromise a computer.
Public Wi-Fi risks
Any connection to the internet has the potential of exposing users to security risks. Public Wi-Fi networks are an easy route used by hackers to access user devices. When you connect to public Wi-Fi without the necessary security measures, all your activity on the internet is visible to hackers and spies.
In 2021, cybercriminals are expected to use hacking methods that involve compromising internet infrastructure. This includes taking advantage of unpatched servers using stolen credentials.
Fake updates are a relatively new method used by cybercriminals to trick users into self-hack. The hacker sends a fake email with a link to an OS update. Once the user clicks on the link, it opens doors to the computers for the hacker. They prey on the emotions of the user to make them believe the OS update is required immediately.
The links install ransomware into the computer, which takes over by encrypting important files, rendering your machine unusable. The hacker will ask for a ransom to be able to access your files.
How you can protect your devices
Keep the system updated
Ensure your browser, system, and important apps on your computer are updated as soon as an update is released. You can set the computer to auto-update to ensure you never miss an update. These updates come with security patches for vulnerabilities in the previous version. This ensures there are no loopholes to be exploited by hackers to access your computer.
Using a VPN
When you install a VPN on your PC, it helps to protect your computer and all the computer data from different types of hackers and spies. A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts all data from and on your computer, whether it is on transit or stationery. This is done by creating a secure tunnel for data transmission. This tunnel is inaccessible to snoopers, hackers, and even your ISP.
A VPN ensures a secure and private connection, even on public Wi-Fi. You can use it on any desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
Use antivirus programs
Antivirus programs are meant to protect computers from infections that can compromise data, slow down the machine or crash a PC. With an antivirus, you can protect yourself from spam emails that may contain harmful links. Once you have an antivirus in your computer, you can run it frequently to scan for vulnerabilities in the system files and delete any malicious programs found.
Keep your antivirus updated to ensure it can handle even the latest bugs released on the internet.
There can be multiple risks facing PC users. Make sure you are aware of the risks and know the best ways to stay protected. With this guide, you can strengthen your PC protection and prevent cyber attacks or security breaches.