Types of cyber threats
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by cleverly disguising an electronic message as coming from a trusted source. It is a criminal activity utilizing social engineering techniques, and usually done using email or instant messaging.
Criminals work to make the email as authentic-looking as possible so that the victim will either directly respond, or will open a URL link to a fake web site run by the criminals the look and feel of which are identical to the legitimate site.
Malware and Ransomware
Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed for malicious intent. Malware can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. Types of malware include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and scareware, among other terms. Malware can be introduced into a system in a number of ways including links in emails, malicious web sites, documents, thumb drives, etc.
Ransomware is a type of Malware that attempts to deprive a user of access to his data in order to extract a monetary payment. This is usually done by encrypting the user’s data and demanding a payment using a cryptocurrency. With ransomware, criminals will then demand a payment before they return your computer access to you. DO NOT pay the ransom. There is no guarantee, regardless of what the criminals say, that your computer will be restored to you virus free.
Cyberbullying and Doxing
Cyberbullying involves the use of communication technologies such as the internet, social networking sites, websites, email, text messaging and instant messaging to repeatedly intimidate or harass others. Just like bullying in the offline world, not all online bullying is criminal. However, unlike the real world, cyberbullying is often anonymous.
Doxing or doxxing is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting private or identifying information about an individual or organization. The methods employed to acquire this information include searching publicly available databases and social media websites, hacking, and social engineering.
Online, things that seem to good to be true, often are. Online scams, from winning money to finding true love or the perfect job, are simply ways to gather your personal information for the criminals’ personal gain. As with all other forms of cyber threats, always check the source, report suspicious emails, do not click on links, call the company at the number you know, and look for extra letters or misspellings in urls and addresses. In other words, be vigilant.