As computer technology continues to advance, an array of evolving and new cybersecurity risks has put pc users and data safety analysts on high alert.
In 2021, sophisticated cyber-threats involve social engineering attacks, malware attacks, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptocurrency fraud, and many more. These threats continually place government agencies, corporations, and individual assets and data at risk.
The best way to protect yourself is to learn of the imminent threats you face every day as a pc user and the best ways to protect yourself.
Cybersecurity threats and trends in 2021 and the best ways to protect your PC
Use of unsecured internet services
Whenever you connect your PC to the internet, you run the potential risk of being hacked. Public Wi-Fi networks are most notorious for hacking because they often do not have any security measures. Once you connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi, you open the doors to your PC to anyone snooping on people on the network.
In 2021, the number of hackers using unsecure public Wi-Fi networks is expected to increase with improved hacking methods involving compromising unpatched servers using stolen credentials.
How to prevent open Wi-Fi network attacks
The best way to protect your PC from hacking through a public network is using a Virtual Private Network. Installing a PC VPN creates a safe tunnel for data exchange between your computer and the internet. This way, any information shared through this tunnel appears jumbled to anyone without authorization to read it.
Social engineering attacks
A report by Microsoft in mid-2020 indicated an increase of social engineering attacks by up to 10,000 cases in the United States alone.
Social engineering is a non-technical threat that takes advantage of human interactions. It exploits human error to deceive people into overlooking standard security measures to access important computer data. This type of cyber-attack is expected to increase throughout 2021 as cybercriminals benefit financially from these attacks.
Social engineering attacks include phishing, fake communication, pretexting, and any attack that uses personal data to gain trust. The cybercriminal disguises as a trusted friend, colleague, or employee who needs sensitive information from an unsuspecting victim. Once they earn the victim’s trust, they request them to overlook basic data security protocol to get the information they urgently need to complete an important task.
How to prevent social engineering attacks
To prevent a social engineering attack, PC users need to be educated on the best cybersecurity practices, especially when using private computers to access company networks and servers. PC users need to learn of the best ways to spot phishing attacks, among other social engineering attacks. This is the best way to boost awareness of threats.
System admin tools exploitation
According to a positive technologies study, at least 50% of cyber threats take advantage of publicly available administration tools for their attack strategies. In 2021, IT systems are becoming more interconnected.
This is expected to cause a rise in the exploitation of system administration tools. These are tools already installed in PCs that can be used to spread malware programs directly to the computer’s memory, which makes it even difficult to detect.
How to prevent exploitation of admins tools
While it is not possible to manage admin tools virtually, organizations and individuals can still protect their computers from infections. The best way to do so is by installing security software such as an up-to-date anti-malware program. This will detect hidden malware threats and secure the computer in good time.
With computer security threats advancing every day, learning about the three most common threats facing PC users makes it easier for you to protect your PC and data.