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November 22, 2021

Top 3 Common Desktop Cybersecurity Threats

By Timothy Shields.

While big cyber-attacks get a lot of attention, the threat most users face is right at their desktop computer. At present, we also live in a time where cybersecurity attacks are as dangerous as being physically harassed or robbed. Cyberattacks are those malicious and deliberate attempts to breach one’s information system in the hopes that one may earn some benefit from the victim’s network. 

That being said, it is also crucial to update our security measures. We must give importance to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity protects your hardware, software, and data from common cybersecurity threats.

Let’s take a look at the three most common desktop computer security issues with some recommendations to protect yourself.

Malware

Malware is the most prolific and common form of security threat. Its existence dates back to the internet’s inception and has proven to remain a consistent problem today.

Malware refers to malicious software that includes spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms that install themselves to a system and thus cause unusual behavior.

Once inside the system, the malicious program or software can block access to essential parts of the network, install other harmful software, obtain information from the hard drive, and disrupt the system rendering it inoperable.

Malware gets installed on your local computer when you download software from a scam site and it is installed secretly. Some signs of malware include: finding unknown software installed on your computer, pop-ups when you try to use the web, weird search results when you try to search online. A high-quality virus scanning and protection tool will help!

Malware can range from just annoying to stealing your personal and banking information!

Phishing

A phishing scam is an older attack method that relies on social engineering to carry out its objective. It’s probably the scariest form of common cybersecurity threats there is because of its almost legitimate representation. It uses deceit to attract its victims.

In phishing, the perpetrators usually send fraudulent communications that appear to come from reputable sources. Unfortunately, this legitimate appearance compels victims to give away sensitive information. Typically, end-users receive a message or email requesting sensitive data, like passwords, log-in information, or credit card access. Look carefully at the email address and do not click on links in an email. If you receive a weird email from your bank, don’t click the link. Open a browser and go to the bank website directly. Or, better yet, call them.

Password Theft or Attacks

This cybersecurity threat relies not so much on technology to achieve its goal. Instead, it uses social engineering to perpetuate the crime. It relies on human interaction, tricking people into breaking standard security practices. It could also involve accessing a password database or just outright guessing one’s password based on available user data and information on social media.

This threat is probably one that is hired to recover from once you become a victim of it. A cyber attacker who holds the correct password to an account has access to an abundance of information. Worse, they remove your access to the account so that there is no means of recovery.

Password theft/attacks, when successful, could result in identity theft and other scams. In addition, your private data could also be sold and uploaded to the internet, making you vulnerable to other security and privacy threats.

Conclusion

Despite the existing dangers of the internet, there are some things you can do to stay safe online. For one, you can download an antivirus program that might protect you from common cybersecurity threats. This should be on top of your priority when purchasing a laptop or device. You can regularly scan your computer or device for viruses and unknown programs with a proper security program.

Also, to protect yourself from cybersecurity threats, awareness is vital. Do not click on suspicious-looking links. Instead, make sure that you go only to well-reputed and safe websites. Finally, make sure that you use only strong passwords that cannot be seen or related to your public data. Know that staying safe online is easy if you know how to do so.

Click here to read our blog on what you should do if you experience a data breach.

Do not hesitate to contact a legal professional who can help you gain a better understanding of cybersecurity. Find an attorney who is knowledgeable and specializes in cybersecurity and data privacy.


 

Timothy Shields is a Partner at Kelley Kronenberg, focusing his practice on Technology, Data Privacy, and Social Media Representation.

Contact Timothy Shields at:
Phone: 833-830-HELP (4357)
Email: tshields@kklaw.com

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a courtesy and is intended for the general information of the matters discussed above and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Neither Kelley Kronenberg nor its individual attorneys or staff are responsible for errors, omissions and/or typographical errors – always seek competent legal counsel.