The internet is public, accessible and contains a wealth of information. However, you are not really anonymous when you are online and it is just as easy for people to find information about you as it is for you to get information about them.
The computer security firm Symantec released some startling numbers on cyber security this April in their report titled ‘Internet Security Report’ which stated that 286-million new cyber threats were discovered in 2010! That led to a 93% increase in web-based attacks.
The report goes on to reveal that cyber criminals are focusing their dirty work on mobile devices like smartphones as well as social media networks. Other research reveals that 30 percent of all such attacks are made on social media sites to seek out personal data, another 13 percent cause monetary loss and 10 percent successfully install malware on a computer. And more than $1 trillion in intellectual property is lost to cyber attacks annually.
So what is cyber security? Cyber security is protecting your personal information or any form of digital asset stored in your computer or in any digital memory device.
Talking about vulnerability, most of us are pretty comfortable hanging out on Facebook and tweeting away while clicking on links to find out more about interesting headlines or to watch two babies having an imaginary conversation in their diapers. But clicking on those nifty little links is where you might find yourself entering the danger zone.
There is also what you could call a cyber terrorist with much bigger goals than your credit card number. In fact, according to Symantec’s report, credit card numbers go for as little as 7-cents in the underground world of online crime.
The most frightening attacks include high-profile schemes like the one which attempted to gain control of a power plant in Iran. Other attackers target multi-national corporations by researching specific people in the organizations and gaining access to the company’s network.
Unfortunately, there’s no 100% guarantee that even with the best precautions some of these things won’t happen to you, but there are steps you can take to minimize the chances.
The first step in protecting yourself is to recognize the risks and become familiar with some of the terminology associated with them. Hacker, attacker, or intruder is a term applied to the people who seek to exploit weaknesses in software and computer systems for their own gain.
Malicious code-sometimes called malware, is a broad category that includes any code that could be used to attack your computer. Viruses and worms are examples of malicious code.
Vulnerability - in most cases, vul-