Concerns about cyber espionage have shaken our country in recent months. Now millions of corporations, agencies, and individuals are taking Mindful steps to protect themselves from cyber hackers.
Recently, there have been many reports of hackings, from the Twitter accounts of Burger King to the Federal Reserve website. Some speculate that the countries behind these larger hacking scandals are China or Russia. With these scandals, the costs of cybercrime for U.S. corporations have skyrocketed. In 2006, U.S. companies spent over $60 billion as a result of data breaches. In 2011, this number was said to triple to $130 billion.
The victims of cybercrimes are not just million or billion dollar companies. Research has found that over “71 million Americans have become victims of cybercrime” over the past year. It’s also been found that American consumers annually lose nearly $21 billion due to cybercrime, that’s roughly $295.77 for each American cybercrime victim. Most of these victims lose money from fraud, hacking, malware, scams, theft, and viruses.
According to CNN, some common computer hacking practices include backdoor programs, guessing security questions, phishing, and spear phishing. Our social media accounts and smartphones are often hacked too. Nearly half of all social network users have become cybercrime victims on social networking platforms. And though two out of three adults in the world use mobile devices with Internet access, only one-third of them have proper security.
For protection from cyber hackers, consider the Mindful tips listed below.
- Social media. To protect our social network accounts experts suggest giving up simple passwords and finding tougher security questions. They suggest that we avoid add-ons like Facebook games that ask for personal information and that we scan our computers for viruses regularly.
- Mobile devices. Most of us use smartphones to access personal information like email or bank accounts. Setting up passwords is only the beginning. Some experts suggest downloading apps that will encrypt your data or install anti-theft software.
- Keep your other gadgets hacker-free. With more devices now embedded with computer programs and Internet access, it’s not just our laptops or cell phones that we should be wary of. For example, a security firm found flaws in Samsung’s Smart TV. Thieves could hack into a TV’s camera or microphone to remotely spy on others. Thieves can also hack cars with computer systems, making stealing them easier.
For more information on how to protect your personal information, consider this Mindful article.