In the past 10 years or so, much of what we do—from communication and entertainment to employment—is now down online. Through the power of the internet, it’s easier than ever to do many things more conveniently. With unparalleled accessibility to so much information and data, it was only a matter of time before hackers found ways to attack, infiltrate, and exploit consumer data, even on home networks.
Successful attacks lead to a vast array of issues, reinforcing the need for better online security. In this article, we’ll cover why you need better internet security and how to obtain it.
Threats Are Everywhere
Online threats are essentially a fact of life at this point. Data breaches seem like they’re occuring every few weeks. Social engineering, malicious software, viruses, and ransomware are all picking up steam these days. New malware comes out every single day and new definitions have to be created in antivirus programs to fight them.
Furthermore, there’s been a 45% increase in new types of malware and malware attacks throughout 2022. It’s only going to get worse until 2023. To protect yourself from these threats, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a firewall, antivirus, and other forms of protection to prevent any potential threats from impacting you.
Phishing Is On The Rise
Phishing (a type of social engineering where attackers dupe unsuspecting users into sharing their personal information is a credible threat in 2023. More people use social media and interact online, making them better targets for social engineering scams. Phishing is also becoming more sophisticated and aggressive.
Over 225 million attacks occurred in 2022 (a massive increase over 2021). And it’s only going to get worse. Watching out for suspicious emails and learning to spot the warning signs of a potential phishing attempt can help. But the best way to fight back is to use security software that’ll help identify spam and phishing before it can become a problem.
Password Managers Are Being Compromised
Passwords are a challenge for most people on the best of days. To be effective, passwords must be difficult to guess, crack, or steal. That’s why most password best practices focus on mixing up letters (upper and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. Of course, keeping them all together and using different ones for every site can be a nightmare. So savvy users turned to password managers—programs that store your credentials for various websites and apps under a single “skeleton key” password—to manage their online protection.
Password managers caught on. But sadly, even the most popular ones aren’t safe from malicious actors. Lastpass—one of the most popular password managers at the moment—was recently breached, leading to many users’ information becoming compromised. Fortunately, internet security software usually has its own built-in, proprietary password manager that doesn’t rely on outside vendors. That means you don’t have to use a third-party password manager and can use password best practices to ensure you create strong passwords that’ll keep you safe and secure online.
Identity Theft Continues To Be A Problem
Identity theft is still a pretty serious threat. It usually happens through phishing, but can occasionally happen via malware as well. To combat it, you’ll need to use antivirus software, keep things updated, and avoid sharing personal information in inappropriate ways.
Strong passwords can also be quite effective. It’s also a fantastic idea to use internet security software to be proactive against identity theft. Premium internet security and protection offers content filters and loads of other useful features to help you protect your identity and discover if it’s been compromised (or might be up for sale on the dark web) at any point.
Ransomware Is A Consistent Threat
Ransomware—a type of malware that encrypts your data, then tried to sell you a decryption key for a price—is a massive
Ransomware can, unfortunately, strike quickly and without warning. And attackers tend to favor high profile targets, especially in manufacturing, education, and infrastructure. In 2021, the Keystone Pipeline was taken out by a ransomware attack. The fallout raised fuel prices and caused a temporary oil shortage.
In late December 2022, a Canadian mill was forced to shut down its operations due to a successful ransomware attack. In this case, an employee’s credentials were somehow compromised—likely the result of a successful phishing attack—and they were sold on the dark web.
Once purchased, an attacker used them to access the company’s systems and launch the successful ransomware attack. It can happen to companies and consumers alike. By staying on top of threats and using quality security software, you can help prevent attacks on your devices and keep yourself safe online.