In addition to attacks affecting large companies, cybercriminals also target individual users with common practices such as phishing or identity theft to steal information.
Becoming a victim of a cyberattack is not to anyone’s taste, but unfortunately, it is something that users keeps experiencing. According to Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, provider specialized in cybersecurity worldwide, the last few years have seen a steady growth in terms of numbers of cyberattacks. A trend that seems to continue for this 2023, with cyberattacks showing a growth of 38% for 2022 in comparison with the previous year, and beyond, with damages expected to exceed $10 trillion by 2025 according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
Whilst contributing factors to happiness can vary greatly across individuals, there is no doubt of the impact of technology on a number of the key ingredients, such as human relationships, freedom, and trust with technology usage increasing especially after the pandemic lockdowns. To safeguard personal happiness, services and employers should strive to provide positive and safe experiences for users, in light of increased cyberattacks as reported above and here in India, where an organization is attacked on an average of 1787 times per week in the last 6 months according to Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Report.
Nonetheless, as the saying goes, “always look on the bright side”. Something that the last Unicode study proves, showing that not even the pandemic was able to take away our smiles, ranking these emojis as the most used during 2021. And the fight against cybercrime will not be different.
In line with the International Day of Happiness, Check Point Software emphasized the importance of users’ awareness on security and privacy risks they face when using their devices, sharing some essential practices that everyone should follow to ensure the defense of their data:
- Always use strong passwords: many users keep the factory settings on critical devices such as the router, leading to inefficient security practices under the false belief that, once at home, they are already protected. As with any other device connected to the network, it is always recommended to keep as many barriers as possible active, using unique passwords created by a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.
- Keep devices updated: beyond keeping up with the latest trends, installing all available updates and patches can help to avoid potential vulnerabilities. If a single device suffers a cyberattack, this breach could easily spread within the connected networks.
- Avoid the use of public wireless networks: it is common to find free Wi-Fi networks in many establishments and public places. However, researchers have shown that these types of networks are easy to breach, so should be only used for occasional browsing, avoiding the entry of passwords and personal data, as well as the use of sensitive applications such as banking or payment.
- Prevent the exposure of sensitive data: social networks have meant a huge impact on society, becoming a fundamental pillar in human interactions. Nevertheless, it is important not to forget to be cautious when sharing content, as well as avoid sharing personal and sensitive data that could be used against us by third parties.
- Stay alert and take nothing for granted: phishing is still one of the favorite techniques of cybercriminals. Experts’ recommendations point out the need of avoiding opening any message received from unknown senders, both via emails and mobile. But also, when receiving any suspicious communication, avoid clicking on any link or attachment. In case of further doubts, contact the related official entities to ensure the veracity of these messages.
“These phishing attempts are large-scale opportunistic attacks aimed at getting as many users as possible to provide their personal data. Some attacks will attempt to take advantage them or steal their information, while others will focus on plain attempts to deploy malware” says Sundar Balasubramanian, Managing Director, Check Point Software Technologies, India & SAARC. “The best defense against these threats, as always, is knowledge. Apply these suggested tips to stay safe and safeguard your work and personal happiness all around,” Balasubramanian added.
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