Though life for most of us is now looking up, there’s no denying that the years 2020 and 2021 have been challenging ones, with the coronavirus wreaking havoc on an international scale. Unfortunately, the problems don’t start and end there, with trickle-down effects on changes of lifestyle creating many opportunities for bad actors to exploit. One of the more pronounced of these areas is an online safety, where an increase of attacks and threats of attacks have been building steadily. But with the right approach, these issues can at least be mitigated, and sometimes stopped directly in their tracks. It’s a tough battle, but one that can be overcome.
Why the Rise in Attacks?
The primary reason for the increase of attacks during the last couple of years stems from accessibility. These are the first years in human history that necessity has pushed many of us into remote work, e-learning, e-commerce, e-banking, and many other online-reliant systems. Though many of us have found these new methods to rapidly improve our lives in various ways, they’re all driving many more active users to the internet. These users require online access to achieve their goals, meaning a high level of dependence. When this dependence, and consequently our lives and livelihood, are interrupted, we’re likely to panic. This can play into the hands of the hackers, giving them the advantage and putting workers on the back foot.
Methods of Attack
There are many different forms of attack that hackers can use to gain leverage over a system, with many different avenues leading to this point. One of the more common avenues can be found in the creation of fake programs and tools ostensibly designed to aid in productivity. As we download these programs, they can instead install malware on our devices, leading to compromised safety.
Another popular avenue is a much simpler one, with basic password brute-forcing. By using bots to run through thousands of login attempts going through the most popular passwords, inevitably, they’ll eventually find somewhere to attack. This can lead to cyber fraud, identity theft, and the installation of ransomware.
As is often the case with computer safety, the best first step is diligence in daily operation. Browsing only trusted websites and installing only trusted programs is a good place to start, but for more advanced safety, outside help can be worth a look. Regular malware scans can be great in this regard, for which free tools can offer a best-of-class experience. These will destroy most of the larger problems at their roots, allowing users a high level of freedom and trust in their online interactions.
Going a step further, users could also consider investing in more high-tech security measures like biometrics. By using your personal biological data such as fingerprints or face scans, brute force attempts at breaking into systems become nigh-impossible, making for a much safer environment. Identity authentication technology like this has come a long way since the early days, and as a bonus can even eliminate frustrating elements like remembering dozens of passwords and ID data, allowing instant access.
The reason why this biometric technology has been so widely embraced is that, for every possible form of inclusion, it protects both users and hosts. The e-banking industry, for example, is naturally concerned about their customers, but also in the harm that could result to their reputation if hacks were to occur. This concept also applies to e-learning institutions, though taking a different tack in that it can help prevent cheating or account theft. Modifiable to different industries, biometrics essentially takes the function of passwords one step further, and in doing so ensures safer outcomes for everyone.
With remote systems for home and work looking to become an inseparable part of modern life, there are more targets for hackers than ever before. While this is obviously not ideal, it’s worth remembering that the right modern approach can effectively protect users from practically any and all threats. It can be scary, but it’s also hopeful thanks to how far our security systems have come. Just be sure to be proactive, as it is much better to have security and not need it than to need security and not have it.