There’s no lack of things to be worried about when it comes to cybersecurity: organized cybercriminal gangs; individual hackers working along; not to mention hackers from nation states. But the real enemies aren’t these cybercriminals that steal your data and money using
sophisticated ransomware, hacking, and phishing; the real enemy is us, or rather YOU, for being careless and allowing these attacks to flourish.
According to a study by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, half of all Americans are reducing their use of the internet due to fears regarding privacy and security. However, more than 50% of Americans remain careless about cybersecurity, especially when using their mobile devices. The main reasoning is that “This could never happen to me because there’s nothing worth stealing from me.”
So long as anyone is using cold cash or credit cards, no cybercriminal – organized or alone – will pass up the chance to make some money just to add up to the loot.
The real cyber enemy is us
Take this first example. The recent ransomware attacks could have been easily overcome had the victims backed up their current and complete data. So it’s just a matter of re-installing the OS, installing new security software, and then restoring the copied data back to the computer.
Unfortunately, 3 in 10 Americans never back up their data, while others do it sporadically. And all this means that it’s easier to pay up, and that’s what the criminals are counting on. Another careless act that people are guilty of is clicking on a suspicious (and thereby potentially malicious) link inside an e-mail or in a message on social media such as Facebook. The culprit is simple curiosity on our part, and if you don’t believe curiosity kills the cat, you better believe that curiosity can kill your computer, or get your data or money stolen. What even makes this careless act truly ridiculous is that the majority of messages or links are sent by strangers, so perhaps your mom was right when she kept telling you, “don’t talk to strangers,” and the same goes on the internet.
Actually, the list of our sins on cybersecurity can go on and on (such as picking up a USB thumb drive on the street and inserting it into your computer). If only everyone followed all the advice on cybersecurity then we could probably bleed the criminals dry. Unfortunately, many simply just don’t.