The world is constantly digitizing leading to a large amount of data creation. The data comprise of critical personal, financial and business information.

Every day Billions of people globally access internet for varied reasons creating great deal of data/information and sharing them online. At the same time there are few cyber thieves who are on constant lookout to still your important information.

With banking going online and emphasis on paperless financial transactions, cyber hackers are eyeing this information. Already world has lost billions of dollars to these cyber thieves and It is believed that more than 50% funds lost through cyber crime would never be recovered.

It has become even more critical to protect your data and save self from any loss.

These hackers or cyber thieves employ different tactics to fool the user and easily churn out their critical data. Some of their favorite methods are:

Malwares- These are codes with malicious intent to steal or destroy your digital data. The different types of malwares are Virus, Trojan and worms. They spread through email attachments, software downloads and operating system vulnerability. One such deadly Malware is Zeus which can easily capture your bank account numbers, passwords, personal identification numbers and other confidential information, which can be used to log into your online banking accounts. One example of viruses is mydoom which has already done a global financial damage of $38.5Million. It spreads by spam mail and is very difficult to detect by antivirus as is morphed malware. It requires a very sensitive solution to detect it.
Denial Of Service- The attackers in this send high volumes of data or traffic through the network until the network becomes overloaded and can no longer function. This has a sever security issues.
Spam/Phishing- Many fraudsters saying to represent a government organization or agency send emails to you to seek personal information from you. They may even claim to represent the bank in which you hold account seeking your bank details. The most common form of phishing is lottery awards or grants in your favor.
Software Vulnerability- Almost every pc has software like adobe flash, adobe reader and other utility software from oracle, Adobe, Java etc However these software come with their own inbuilt vulnerability and it should be noted there can’t be any software which doesn’t have its vulnerability. The hackers target these vulnerabilities and attack your system. An example for it is CTB Locker.
The factors that affect at what level your cyber security is compromised is based on the activities you carry out on the internet. Some of these activities include:

1. Business– It does not matter what is your business type. As a business you have very large number of data to store and protect. Your business data comprise of clients details, projects details, products details and important confidential details of the company. Any malware or virus can steal your transactions details and chances that may even breach your company account, if your system administration is not properly protected. As an entrepreneur loss of any data means huge loss into finances.

2. Banking– The hackers have devised many techniques to still your banking information with fake calls to update your ATM card and emails with link to give card information. With banks now offering mobile banking and internet banking, more bank transactions are done electronically making it a preferred target by the hackers.

3. Shopping– With more E-Commerce websites coming up and more options for shopping your favorite brands online, more and more people are going online for shopping. It is a very convenient way to purchase goods, clothes, mobiles and any other item you like from the comfort of your home. If proper care is not taken attackers hijack payment gateways or links for the payment to steal your information robbing you of your savings.

4. Trading– Many people like to spend some of their savings into share trading to have financial gains. If the portals used for trading are not secure and their security is compromised then it could lead to bad news financially. The transactions done through these portals should be done in well secured environment and trusted SSL certificates.

5. Gaming– Many people go online for fun and enjoyment. Online gaming platforms offer these at the same place. Cyber attackers share malicious links in the name of the gaming and on click download malware corrupting your system or mobile.

6. Browsing– Maximum internet users go online for browsing purpose or just searching for their topic. Cyber hackers target the vulnerability of your browsers to steal your information and using it illegally.

7. Social Media– The social sites are favorite place for the attackers as many people spend their maximum time on social sites. They use link jacking by diverting your click to malicious site and not to the site of your choice. Also like jacking is used to automatically download the malicious code onto your computer when you click to like something. These malwares then still your information and send it to the hackers who can steal your identity and also money.

8. Other services– There are number of miscellaneous services that we use online other than those mentioned above. Some of these services are paying bills, grievances, mobile recharge, listening to music, and watching movies etc. Cyber hackers use strategies of link jacking to get you download and install the malicious software. This malware or virus can then take over your PC, Laptop or mobile and still your important information.

The universal best practices that can protect you from these regular cyber attacks is through regular software update, installation of good antivirus program/solution and taking required precautions to constantly resetting the passwords. Also keep constant track of your financial statements to avoid any mishap.

How Cyber Threats Can Compromise Your Finances

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