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Cybersecurity techniques have improved in leaps and bounds over the last years, yet criminals continue to develop sophisticated ways to disrupt systems and steal data. This is why we need to remain extra vigilant and note the growing imperative to prepare for cyberattacks.

Types of cybercrime

A phishing campaign usually takes the form of a spam email, or a similar type of communication, like SMSs. The intention is to trick you into doing something that undermines the security of the organisation you work for, or in order to steal your personal information. Phishing campaign messages may contain infected attachments or links to malicious or fake sites.

Malware attacks

A malware attack is where a computer system or network is infected with a computer virus or other type of malware. A computer compromised by malware could be used by cybercriminals for several purposes, including stealing confidential data, using the computer to carry out other criminal acts, or causing damage to data.

Mobile devices

Perpetrators always find smart ways to scam people. The fact that a message is delivered via SMS does not make it safe, so always be alert.

Research shows that users seem to be less vigilant when they are working on their mobile phones, often because they are multitasking.

“Research shows that users seem to be less vigilant when they are working on their mobile phones, often because they are multitasking.”

Messages received via mobile phone are also not filtered for potential malicious content like corporate or work emails are. Cybercriminals know this and they have adjusted their email phishing attacks accordingly.

There has been a huge increase, especially recently, in COVID-19 related SMSs or WhatsApp messages that contain links to phishing sites.

So, how do you protect yourself?

  • Never leave your laptop or tablet unattended and unlocked
  • Use complex passwords and change them regularly
  • Never share your passwords with anyone and apply multifactor authentication where possible
  • Look out for emails that look strange or different. This could be grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or inconsistent fonts. Cybercriminals are even starting to improve their language and grammar, so be extra vigilant.
  • If emails look different, they could be a part of a phishing campaign. Never open attachments and don’t respond to these messages – delete them immediately.

NB: Reputable financial institutions will not contact you out of the blue and ask for account details, passwords, PINs or OTPs.

 

 

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