Cyberattacks are America’s fastest-growing crime. Review these tips for keeping your personal information safe.
Do you know the difference between a vishing and a smishing attack? Or that spear phishing doesn’t happen in the ocean? Cyberattacks are the fastest-growing crime in the U.S. – and they cause personal and business devastation every day.
Because technology – and the schemes to manipulate users – changes so quickly, it’s important to be in the know. See how well you stack up:
What’s the No. 1 type of cyberattack?
Ransomware, and experts say it’s a growing concern. A type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files, ransomware allows the attacker to demand money to restore access to important documents or photos saved on your hard drive.
What’s the difference between phishing and spear phishing?
Phishing is the attempt to gain usernames, passwords and credit card numbers by impersonating a trustworthy sender in an email or other digital communication. This might entail disguising their email to look like someone you know or including a link to a fake website to trick you into entering private information.
Spear phishing is tailored to one individual and may mention an upcoming trip or a child’s name, for example.
How many different versions of phishing are there?
Unfortunately, there’s a growing list of phishing scams. But there are two popular ones to be aware of:
Vishing is a voice version of phishing. The caller pretends to be from law enforcement, the government or a bank and will try to gain access to Social Security numbers, account numbers or other personal information by asking the victim questions for “verification” purposes.
Smishing is an SMS (or text) version of phishing. You know those automated alerts from the credit card company or PayPal? It might be disguised in that way.
Next steps: How to protect yourself
Criminals are getting more sophisticated. But you can combat the risk by putting these protections in place:
Sources: pcmag.com; us.norton.com