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Whether you use your computer for business, leisure, or a combination of the two, it is key to understand that there are a plethora of bad actors which are lurking on the internet. When I refer to bad actors this is not alluding to people on stage attempting to entertain an audience for great reviews. No, bad actors are a diverse set of people and groups that each specifically target you and your data. Cybersecurity may seem like a challenge however by way of this article I will go through the one popular type that exists and three specific categories in that area

One of the most popular types that are heard of daily is “cyber criminals” and it is meant to serve as an all-inclusive term that refers to people who commit crimes or have been known to breach cybersecurity. Cybercriminals exploit systems to get access to data for their own personal or financial gain. One type of cybercrime is known as password trafficking where the goal is to steal other people’s passwords. 

Cyber-criminals sometimes craft a very well-thought-out and designed e-mail to match that of the person’s financial institution to click a link and get them to a website that appears to be their bank. However, what they don’t know is that this site is a decoy and set up so the end user will attempt to log in, fail, and then the bad guys get a copy of their username and password. Did you know that even if the person doesn’t use the information to log in to another account they can be charged or convicted of a cybercrime?

Thus it is paramount that any user is aware but also utilizes two-factor authentication on all sites which contain personal and or confidential information. Two-factor authentication is an (OTP) or code that is either sent via SMS or displayed in Microsoft Authenticator or another authenticator app. The way it works is one would enter their login information, then their password but before they will be granted access it will access for a code, that will often expire within a minute or less. In other words, if the bad actor got a hold of the user's login name and password they would not be able to log in.

Regardless of whether the person is in school, a graduate, or seasoned in the workforce for many years cyberbullying is still unfortunately common. Cyberbullying is when bullying takes place online instead of in person and did you know in some states it can be charged as harassment? One example of this may be two individuals on a social media platform like Facebook or LinkedIn where a post was made, one disagrees about the premise of it and decides to spread rumors about it. Some of the common things cyberbullies do are post demeaning comments about the person, share unsuitable work photos and other rude comments, and be hurtful to the other person known as the victim. Did you know that the original person who started the rumored posts can be found guilty of cyberbullying depending on what was specifically posted?

Thus in short if you don’t agree with someone fine however it is not ok to post remarks that could hurt or make them feel threatened. When your EGO is telling you to do something to satisfy it, let it go, or you may find yourself in a month of legal trouble do a misunderstanding that got out of hand

Another prevalent threat in this area is cyber extortion is when a bad actor asks others for money because they have a way to blackmail another. An example might be that you either receive an e-mail or chat stating that unless you pay x dollars by this date I will share the photos I have of you with your entire address book. Again, they may make claims that will scare others as I saw you on this street at a certain time and I have photos. Another might be I saw you on the webcam, again they make claims of something they have which is nothing in an attempt to install fear in you and force you to pay them.

As you can see from this simulation scam call, it is vital to never let anyone into your computer remotely you don’t know or give any personal or confidential information out to someone who claims to know you. Often they may have information about you, your name, address, purchases, etc which they may have obtained through scrupulous processes to convince you they know you. Most people will often trust them because no one else they figured would know this about me and then you divulge information and days later it becomes evident your identity was stolen. Make sure you obtain your credit report online yearly and anytime you believe your information has been compromised.

Helping people understand how to say safe has been been a passion of mine as I have also helped to prosecute two individuals about four years ago for stealing scripts from a local hospital and selling them overseas.