Most of us have allowed technology to sneak into almost every part of our lives – from how we do our shopping to the way we consume entertainment. However, with the integration of technology comes the complex world of data security and privacy that we can no longer ignore.
Here are 10 important facts about data security to help you gain some insights into protecting yourself in the rapidly evolving digital world.
1. Ransomware accounts for 93 percent of phishing emails
Phishing attacks are primarily targeted through emails and attempts to deceive users into revealing personal details, passwords and other information by impersonating a company or a person. Phishing emails are on the rise and according to studies, 93 percent of these are ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of malicious malware that essentially hijacks a file or device, and usually demands a ransom payment to regain access. These can be spread through especially links on phishing emails. So, be cautious the next time you receive a suspicious email and avoid clicking on links before verifying details. People search sites like Nuwber can be used to perform a reverse email search or a name lookup to gain more details before confirming the identity of the sender.
2. Your offline activities can also expose you to a cyberattack
What you do in your real-world can also expose you to a cyberattack as long as it involves giving out some form of your personal details like a name, phone number or an address.
Last year Marriot Hotels came under fire when it was found that a guest reservation system hacking has potentially given access to data of around 500 million of its guests. So, whether you are going on vacation or signing up for a new gym downtown, think twice about what personal information you are divulging and how it will be stored.
3. 99.9 percent of mobile malware attacks are through third-party apps
Malware is a malicious program that could attack a device, server or a network and often targets personal details, bank account numbers, passwords and other important information for identity theft. With the increasing use of mobile devices, malware attacks targeting them are also on the rise. According to a Symantec report, third-party apps are responsible for 99.9 percent of malware attacks on mobile devices.
Third-party apps are developed by individuals or companies other than the original device or operating system manufacturer and are often provided free of charge. Experts recommend downloading apps only from reputed app stores like Google Play to ensure the safety of your mobile device.
4. Incognito is not 100 percent private browsing
Most people think that browsing the web on incognito mode provides 100 percent privacy and data security. In fact, the truth is far from it. Incognito could keep your online activities hidden from other users of the device and may even prevent other websites from tracking your identity and activities online. But it will not keep them hidden from everyone else. This means, if you search for vacations in Spain using private browsing, you might not see those Spanish hotel ads popping up. However, your internet service provider can still continue to track your online activities.
5. 60 million Americans are affected by Identity Theft
A Harris Poll survey reveals that 60 million Americans are affected by some form of identity theft. This is indeed a startling figure but does not come as a surprise considering the number of data breaches exposed nowadays. With advancements in technology, identity theft has significantly grown in numbers as criminals and fraudsters are provided new tools to infiltrate data privacy. From emails to social media activities, you need to actively take measures to safeguard your personal data as you engage with the online environment.
6. Cost of security breaches for consumers has reached $19.4 billion
Data and identity theft is affecting consumers more than ever before. According to a Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, cybercrime has affected 143 million consumers, costing them $19.4 billion in one year.
Consumers can fall victim to online crimes and data theft attacks during various stages of the shopping process – from profile registration to online payments. Using reputed online retailers with strong security systems for your shopping needs and opting for secure payment gateways to process payments can provide you with some peace of mind.
7. 43 percent of cyberattack costs are due to information loss
The cost of cyberattacks can extend from system and infrastructure replacement and repairing costs to loss of revenue. An Accenture and Ponemon Institute Report reveals that cyberattack costs have rapidly risen by 62 percent over the 5 years since 2012. Loss of information tops the list contributing to 43 percent of the cost. These can range from the lost data retrieving costs to customer compensations.
8. More than 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a security breach
Small businesses are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks due to a lack of adequate security systems and investments to strengthen security infrastructures and human resources. Over half of small businesses have reported experiencing a security breach while 40 percent have encountered it more than once.
However, most small businesses continue to neglect the importance of building cybersecurity measures with very little budgets allocated every year.
9. 40 percent of Millennials have reported experiencing cybercrimes
According to a Norton cybersecurity report, cybercrimes have been reported by 40 percent of millennials. Studies have found millennials to be at more risk of cyber dangers compared to the older generations. This could be partly due to the staggering amount of time spent online by this tech-savvy generation. It can also be attributed to various other reasons unique to them such as their tendency to share personal activities and events quite freely on social platforms as well as the lack of awareness and knowledge of safety measures to protect themselves against cyberattacks.
10. Unsecure wifi is one of the biggest causes of cyberattacks
We all know that public wifi needs to be used with care and yet, many of us do not hesitate to use these wifi networks whether we are sitting at an airport, a shopping mall or a coffee shop.
These unsecured networks make it easy for cybercriminals to intercept your devices and obtain your personal data and observe your online activities without you ever knowing. Therefore, limit your wifi access in public places and keep your personal data and files secured to protect yourself from a hacking attack.