How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Crime (While Working from Home)

As individuals rely more and more on the internet for information and online technologies to run their businesses and daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber crime continues to grow as a major security threat. One of the most significant steps you can take to protect yourself from cyber crime is making sure your information is not easily accessible.

What is cyber crime?

According to TechTarget, cyber crime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, device, or network. Cyber criminals will typically use malware and other types of software to gain access to sensitive data for financial gain. There are many different types of cyber crime and some examples include identity theft, credit card fraud, and cyber extortion.

What are some examples of cyber crime?

Received a phishing email from your financial institution or iCloud account? Won a competition you didn’t enter? Downloaded a free tool to clean your computer or an application for entertainment? Cyber criminals create these applications, and these applications often contain harmful links, malware, and attempts to steal your private information.

Here are five ways you can protect yourself from cyber crime:

  1. Keep everything up to date – Update your protection to ensure that sensitive transactions occur over a secured network
  2. Use strong passwords and change them a few times a year
  3. Be social media savvy – carefully select the information and content you share online
  4. Protect e-identity – be sure to be on a secure network and web pages when entering personal information
  5. Be careful what you open – avoid being scammed by not opening, replying, or clicking links from unknown senders (for more tips on how to identify phishing emails, see our blog post on How to Detect Phishing Attacks)

What do I do if I become a victim?

Remember to report any strange and threatening emails, applications, or messages requesting your personal information. Make note of them and then share the information with the appropriate authorities to protect yourself and others (this could be your IT manager or the local police).

Realize and act on the situation quickly to reduce the impact of your compromised information or device. One way you can do this is to setup security alerts that come via email and text. For example, most financial institutions will allow you to set up alerts so you will be notified if there is irregular activity on your accounts.

Stay informed, stay safe

One of the best forms of protection is to take the time to understand the threats you are facing and take the correct steps to mitigate them. Taking steps to protect yourself will help you stay safe from cyber criminals, both on and offline.

To learn more about the latest cyber security threats and how to protect yourself, download our whitepaper on Cyber Crime and Internet Security.