Why is cyber security so important?
The threat to online businesses and consumers from cyber-crime is showing no signs of abating. In fact, it is continuing to accelerate at an alarming rate. According to one McAfee report, the total cost of damages connected to cybercrime now amounts to more than $400 billion, up from $250 billion just two years ago.
There are very few individuals in the UK that are unaware of cyber security in 2018, with so many high-profile examples of data leaks in recent months. One of the main reasons why consumers need to focus on their cyber security more than ever before is the rising significance of so-called ‘information wars’.
Sensitive data on individuals is being increasingly targeted by cyber-hackers that attempt to blackmail vulnerable online consumers in the process. Some cyber-criminals focus on obtaining confidential data on high-profile celebrities for use as collateral to humiliate or blackmail individuals for financial gain.
There is an increasing prevalence of phishing attacks that are geared towards stealing financial and personal information from unknowing online users. By the time people acknowledge they have been a victim of online fraud, it is often too late, with bank account details or online banking logins already exposed, breached and funds stolen.
Although phishing and various other cyber-attacks have been around for several years, cyber-hackers are finding new vulnerabilities to exploit within the latest innovative technologies. The sheer volume of connected devices and the fast-emerging ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) makes us increasingly vulnerable to new cyber-attacks. The latest IoT devices rely heavily on data access and transfer, but most consumers are blissfully unaware of the hidden problems such as default password mechanisms that are all too easy to exploit.
How to maintain online privacy
The importance of cyber security has never been more important, both as a consumer and as an employee within a business organisation. If you’re wondering how to prevent a data breach and maintain your online privacy when browsing, working or shopping online, there are two simple steps you can take to stay ‘cyber security savvy’ in 2018 and beyond:
- Utilise strong passwords on all key accounts. Weak passwords are now easily cracked my password-guessing software. Ensure you password is a mixture of numbers, capital letters and special characters.
- Keep web browsers and software up-to-date. Cyber-criminals tend to attack consumers that don’t update their browsers and apps to incorporate the latest software, leaving certain areas vulnerable to being probed and breached.
The impending Digital Economy Act (DEA 2017) will have significant implications for UK-based online consumers in 2019. Those wishing to access adult online services will be required to verify their age to enter, preventing children and young teens from accessing online content they shouldn’t be viewing.
There will be an array of third-parties offering age verification systems to age-restricted online content providers, which in itself poses privacy risks. Fortunately, at AVSecure, our blockchain-based age verification system will give online consumers complete confidence that their online anonymity is preserved. That’s because it is paired with a Zero Knowledge Proof solution, making it as easy and anonymous to verify your age as it is to buy a lottery ticket from a supermarket.