Cybercrime is on the rise…
For the first time in history, financial losses from cybercrime surpassed home burglaries, according to the FBI’s Preliminary 2020 Crime Report.
The scary part?
These aren’t just individual hackers sitting in mom’s basement – they are sophisticated criminal enterprises with big budgets and some of the smartest engineers in the world.
The issue is, while digital criminals are getting better at what they do, we as consumers live in apathy about the risks.
This quote from Hari Ravichandran, the CEO of Aura, a digital security company, sums it up perfectly; “Today, there is no differentiation between your digital life and real life. And, while well-financed criminal enterprises have replaced individual hackers, the tools available to protect ourselves have not changed since we were working on desktop computers with dial-up modems.”
Aura also conducted a survey on the topic, which found that 68% of people still use public wi-fi and have the same password for multiple accounts. And almost 40% won’t change their online behaviors because it’s too “time-consuming” or they don’t know how to.
So, the real question is, are YOU protecting yourself online? Or are you one of the many people risking your digital safety with lethargy?
Let’s take a look at the key areas of digital safety you need to be aware of.
What areas of digital safety do you need to worry about?
Better understanding the areas of digital safety that may affect you will give you peace of mind and help you take precautions to protect yourself.
The most prominent threat to your digital safety is undoubtedly identity theft. This happens when someone steals your personal information to apply for credit cards, loans, official documents, employment, seek medical care, or other services.
Alarmingly, there is a new victim of identity theft every seven seconds in the USA, and reports of this crime doubled in 2020.
But the threats don’t end with identity theft. Here are some other common threats to your digital safety.
- Social Engineering – This is a crime of human nature rather than “hacking.” Criminals search for publicly available information, such as social media profiles, and impersonate someone you trust to get the information (or access) they need to pull off the scam.
- Phishing – Attacks of this nature come in the form of direct communication from an email or phone number that is posing as a reputable organization. By clicking on a link in a phishing email, for example, you will expose your personal information to the scammer.
- Malware – This refers to malicious software or code that is used to infect your device and steal your information or monitor your behavior.
- Online Shopping Scams – These scams present “too-good-to-be-true” offers as banner ads on popular advertising networks and direct victims to fake or semi-fake websites that appear to be online stores. The websites usually provide a significant discount or unbeatable offer but don’t deliver on the promise.
- Man-In-The-Middle Attacks – This type of cyber threat most frequently happens on public wi-fi networks. The scammer will monitor an unsecured public wi-fi network, or in some instances create their own, and wait for unassuming consumers to join the network and enter personal information and passwords.
As you can see, there are a number of ways that your digital safety could be compromised. But you can also take steps to ensure you are less vulnerable to such situations. Let’s take a look at how you can protect yourself.
How to protect yourself against cybercrime
If you want to stay safe online and protect your identity and finances, here are some helpful tips:
- Use strong and varied passwords – Reusing passwords on multiple sites exposes you to a data leak. Of course, it’s hard to remember so many different passwords! You can make use of a password manager to keep your passwords secure and easily login without remembering every single one.
- Get a VPN – Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide an encrypted means for accessing the internet. They protect your data as it moves from one place to the next, which is when most leaks occur.
- Opt for credit cards – Using credit cards rather than debit cards gives you a level of security because if your card is compromised, scammers won’t be able to access your bank account. Banks also provide guarantees on credit cards that mean you can easily cancel them, get a card reissued, and recover losses from known scams.
- Take precautions and question your behavior – In general, think about where and when you share personal information. If you are communicating with a source you are unfamiliar with, don’t give them critical personal data that could be used to scam you.
- Make the most of technology – Antivirus software, malware protection, and firewalls are all excellent ways to protect your online activity. You can also invest in an all-in-one digital safety software, such as Aura, which I’ll talk more about in a moment.
Making digital safety easier with technology
Installing VPNs and other protection software, getting a password manager, and taking precautions with your sensitive information is a lot to handle. Thankfully, the latest digital safety software is making this process a whole lot easier.
Aura, for example, proactively monitors your financial transactions, provides remediation, offers antivirus and a VPN on multiple devices, and takes numerous other measures to keep your identity and financials secure.
If you run into an issue, Aura’s customer service team is available 24 hours a day and as a customer, you’re eligible to access a $1 million dollar identity theft insurance policy*** for eligible claims if the worst happens.
They also have a free trial** and a 60-day money-back guarantee*. So there really is no risk on your part.
*60-day money-back guarantee is only available for our annual plans purchased through our websites or via our Customer Support team. You may cancel your membership online and request a refund within 60 days of your initial purchase date of an eligible Aura membership purchase either through your Aura Account Membership portal or by calling us at 1-855-712-0021. If you signed up for Aura through a free trial, then your membership purchase date will be the date you signed up for your free trial, and you will have 60 days from the date you signed up for your free trial to cancel and request a refund. If you switched to a new annual plan within 60 days of your initial Aura annual subscription, you may still qualify for the Money Back Guarantee (based upon your initial annual plan purchase date).
**Offer valid for new customers only. You will be billed the relevant fees for your selected services after the expiry of your free trial or paid plan term on an auto-renewal basis unless you cancel your free trial at least 24 hours prior to the expiry. After your free trial ends, plans start at $19/month.
***Identity Theft Insurance is underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.