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The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity Awarenessby@gershwin.aaron
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The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness

by Aaron GershwinJanuary 31st, 2023
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There are quite a few different attacks that can happen while using a computer and this is how it usually goes. The most common dangers are the risk of downloading malware, Trojan horses, or spyware. Phishing scams can come in the form of websites or emails that are specifically designed to trick you into giving away personal information.
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I believe that everyone, at least once in their lives, has entered a website that wasn’t the safest one thinking that as long as they were not downloading anything, they were safe. And if you think that you know how to separate and avoid those websites, I am pretty sure that some of them looked very safe and you had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. These websites are often sources of subtle cyber attacks.


Yes, the majority of attacks happen when the user takes action and gives information to a source that is untrusty, however, some actually have the power to take important information without the user’s knowledge and consent. These attacks can include installing malicious software or phishing attack, that can track your behavior or consume an individual’s resources.


There are quite a few different attacks that can happen while using a computer and this is how it usually goes.


3 common dangers of visiting unsecured or malicious websites


Malware: One of the most common dangers when visiting unsecured or malicious websites is the risk of downloading malware, such as viruses, Trojan horses, or spyware. These malicious programs are the ones that will cause damage to your computer, steal sensitive information, and even take control of your device. For example, a downloaded virus can have a free pathway to encrypt all your files and demand a ransom to release them. Moreover, a Trojan horse can give a hacker access to your computer, allowing them to steal your personal information or install more malware and spyware that can collect your personal data and send it back to the attacker. For this reason, it is important to have reliable antivirus software installed and keep it updated.


Phishing: Another common danger is the risk of falling for phishing scams. These can come in the form of websites or emails that are specifically designed to trick you into giving away personal information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. The scammer may use a legitimate-looking website or email to gain your trust and trick you into entering your personal information. Moreover, scammers may also use social engineering techniques to manipulate you into providing personal information. This is why it is important to be cautious of unsolicited emails and to never provide personal information unless you are 100% certain of the authenticity of the website or email.


Adware: Adware is a type of software that displays those annoying and unwanted ads on your computer that you keep closing. It is often bundled with free software and can be difficult to remove. Adware can slow down your computer and compromise your privacy by tracking your browsing habits and sending the information to third parties. Adware can also be used to redirect you to unwanted websites and even install other malware on your computer. It is important to be careful when installing free software and to pay attention to the installation process, as it may offer to install adware along with the software you want.


What can happen if you ignore your computer’s safety and get attacked?


If you ignore your computer safety, there can be a number of negative consequences. Some of the most common risks include:


Loss of personal information: If you do not take steps to protect your computer, your personal information may be at risk of being stolen by hackers. This can include sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other financial information.


Damage to your computer: Ignoring computer safety can also put your device at risk. This can include physical damage as well as software damage. For example, malware can cause your computer to slow down or crash, giving the way to viruses that can corrupt your files.


Loss of productivity: If your computer is compromised by malware or other security threats, it can lead to a loss of productivity. This can be both time-consuming and costly, especially if the computer is used for business purposes.


Costly repairs: If your computer is compromised, it can lead to costly repairs. This can include the cost of software and hardware repairs, as well as the cost of data recovery.

Identity theft: If your personal information is stolen, it can lead to identity theft which can be a serious problem that can take years to resolve.


How to avoid it


There are a number of ways to avoid attacks from hackers.


Such as:


Keeping your software and operating systems up to date: Make sure to install updates and patches as they become available, as they often include security fixes. This will help to protect against known vulnerabilities that hackers may try to exploit.


Using strong and unique passwords: Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and avoid using easily guessable information, such as your name or birthdate. Consider using a password manager to generate and store your password securely. This will help to protect your accounts from brute-force attacks and other password-related threats.


Using Malware/adblocker/antivirus: It is a security solution that is designed to defend the user's computer from cyber threats such as malware or trackers. It protects your sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card details, or other financial information. Moreover, it preserves the functionality of your computer. There are quite a few good ones such as Norton260, Malwarebytes or NordVPN’s threat protection.


The latter one, together with protecting your computer from unsafe websites, also scans your files before downloading them, helps to identify any threads, and blocks them before they can reach and harm your computer. Also, it is a great solution for those that already use VPN on a daily basis as it comes together with a VPN tool at no additional cost.



Summary


The protection of your computer is becoming very important as more and more hackers learn how to make smarter invasions that would not be noticed at first. This is why it is very important to be aware of different types of attacks such as Malware, Phishing, or Adware, and how they can be avoided. By keeping your software and operating systems up to date you will protect your devices against known vulnerabilities that hackers may try to exploit. The Use of strong and unique passwords will help you to protect your accounts from brute-force attacks and other password-related threats. Finally, threat protection will help you to make even safer protection for sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card details, or other financial information as well as scan your files before downloading them and help to identify any threads by blocking them before they can reach and harm your computer.