Cyber crime tactics: how to avoid becoming a victim

Cyber crime is on the rise, affecting millions of consumers and organisations all over the world.

Graham Day, author of December’s book of the month, Security in the Digital World, says: “Attackers are slowly discovering all the ways that devices can be used to attack others. As this knowledge develops, the number and sophistication of attacks also increase.”

It’s important to be aware of the tactics cyber criminals use and how you can protect yourself.

How do cyber criminals attack?

Security in the Digital World defines three methods that cyber criminals use to attack:

  1. Social engineering: The attacker tries to manipulate you into giving them either your information, or access to your computer so that they can get the information themselves. This can take place through many types of communication, including the telephone (vishing), email (phishing), text messages (smishing) or chats within games or apps. The aim of social engineering is to exploit human nature by targeting common human traits such as the fear of being attacked.
  2. Malware: Malware is malicious software that will damage or harm your computer, network or information with the sole intent of infecting your system. Some malware will attempt to take control of the system, allowing the attacker to do anything they want with it or the information on the device, deny you the device or the information, or benefit from taking control of the device or the information. Malware is constantly altered by attackers to create new strains, so it is almost impossible to keep track. Known strains include Trojans, jailbreaks, viruses, bots and worms.
  3. Ransomware: Petya, WannaCry and NotPetya are all strains of ransomware that affected the computer systems of organisations worldwide. Ransomware is a type of malware that is delivered by social engineering and blocks access to the information stored on your device/system. Users will be denied access to their information unless they pay a ‘ransom’ to the attacker – usually in an electronic currency such as bitcoin.

These methods may be used on their own, or you could fall victim to an attack that uses a combination. The attacker uses more than one type of communication to make you more confident that you are not being duped or manipulated.

Protect yourself from cyber crime

There are ways that you can protect yourself from falling victim to a cyber attack.

Security in the Digital World features simple explanations, examples and advice to help you be security-aware in the digital age. Learn how to:

  • Keep your information secure;
  • Put the necessary controls on your home network to protect your family from cyber crime;
  • Prevent identity theft when shopping online or using contactless payment; and
  • Keep your children safe when using the Internet.

Save 10% when you buy before the end of December >>

Make your staff aware of the dangers quickly and cost-effectively by enrolling them on our Phishing Staff Awareness Course. Employees will learn how to identify and understand phishing scams, are advised what would happen if they fall victim and are shown how they can mitigate the threat of an attack.

Secure your IT infrastructure with our Infrastructure (Network) Penetration Test and identify your network vulnerabilities before cyber criminals do. Book before 22 December to save 10%.