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Identifying the Hidden Threat

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When people think of cyber criminals they typically think of complex computer geeks who know how to code.  We think that in order to perform such complex tasks like hacking and identity theft that these people have to be geniuses.  Yet, while this may be true for those on the FBI’s most wanted list, your typical average cyber criminal could just be your next door neighbor, or it could be yourself. 

In this day and age we share almost everything. From what we ate for lunch to the announcement of the birth of our first child, our wedding date, and even our vacations.  While this is perfectly acceptable and often encouraged, it often opens us up to be wide open to online criminal attacks.  By putting this information out there we make it ridiculously easy for cyber attackers to waltz through and steal your information. 

Knowing where you keep your information and what information you let live online is the pivotal way you can protect against people using it for nefarious purposes.  Attackers can try to impersonate you but if you leave out pertinent details then they will never know the full picture.  This tactic is a very strong defense against the online cyber criminal. 

Another tactic that you can use to arm yourself against cyber attacks is to invest in software that is designed to help lock down your information.  These softwares are specially designed to help protect you and the data that you share online from falling into the wrong hands.  These types of software can be extremely beneficial and lifesaving because they can protect you beforehand instead of after the fact. 

These softwares can also help you protect yourself from a common unseen threat: phishing. Over 97% of people surveyed cannot effectively recognize a phishing attempt.  This means that an individual could unknowingly give information or money to aid a party that might take advantage of them.  Phishing can be something as innocuous as a fake email from your long lost aunt or as sophisticated as a message from your boss that uses their real email address. 

 These attempts can be increasingly hard to decipher so it is always best to use caution when reading and replying to your online messages.  If you can, try to invest in a software that can do some of the heavy lifting for you, so you don’t have to worry about missing some fine detail that could cost you a lot of time and money. 

Cyber criminals are getting more savvy as time goes on. This makes them harder to track and identify.  However, if we remain vigilant and allow ourselves to use caution along with our sharing then we shouldn’t have to worry about becoming a target.  Now, it is more important than ever to blend caution with online charisma as we continue to reach out and expand our online world.  If we can reach this happy medium we can continue to live securely and happily in our online sphere. 

Cybersecurity also has a parallel in basketball such as in the 50-40-90 club – it’s all about identifying the hidden threat, not just the fanciest high scorer.  Learn more in the infographic below:

CEO of Penske Media Group. Experienced Content Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the newspaper industry. Spoken on stages around the globe - NYU, US Embassy, P&G Toronto, and much more.

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