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Since it has come to be such an important part of our lives today, it is important to know the basics of internet security. As the use of the internet increases by the day, with the big corporations, home businesses, work, and even entertainment and studies going online, we are always at a risk of internet security breaches. Once an internet network is compromised, there can be a theft of confidential information, with money scams and credit card fraud on top of the list. As per the FBI Cybercrime report for 2021, the US suffered losses of over $6.9 billion in the last year alone.

Of course, huge monetary losses are usually in line when big businesses face internet security breaches. However, your safety on the internet is just as important. It is vital to keep yourself and your confidential information safe online because if that is compromised, the results are often displeasing and consequential. This article encompasses the complete internet safety guide to your home network, the threats you may face, and what you can do to combat them.

 

What Difference Can an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Make?

Some of the top internet services in the industry come with an in-built security suite. This helps keep your internet network safe from threats, ensuring that all your activities are protected online. For instance, Xfinity Internet comes with an advanced security suite that blocks all undesirable spam emails and such from reaching you. Similarly, Spectrum to offers a free internet security suite.

Choosing an internet provider that offers you first-hand security is one of the best things you can do for your home network. You can always add on more measures to make your home network even more secure but the right beginning makes all the difference.

What Is Cybercrime?

In the simplest of terms, cybercrime is any crime that is committed through and over the internet. It employs the use of computers and other such devices to gain access to other people’s systems. While many home networks actually are adequately secured, all of them are not and it can be quite risky to leave them unguarded.

Cybercrime is dangerous because, unlike other crimes, you cannot see the offender, who can be from anywhere in the world. Cybercrimes can lead to monetary losses, extortion, unsolicited harassment, and other forms of online torment if you don’t take care of the internet safety of your family.

 

What Are the Most Common Types of Cybercrimes?

Having some basic knowledge of cybercrimes will ultimately help you understand the best ways you can protect yourself online. Hence, before we move on to that part, let us discuss the most common types of cybercrimes that threaten our internet safety today.

 

1. Phishing

Phishing is when a cybercriminal contacts you looking for information, but makes the communication look legit. So they might contact you as a local business, perhaps as a colleague, or sometimes even as your bank or something of the sort. You will receive an email that looks like the real deal but it will ask you to enter your details and if you are unsuspecting, you might just do so. The information these cybercriminals harvest from such ventures can be your name, social security number, debit, and credit card info. Once they get your information they can use it for other sinister plans.

Credit card fraud, as well as identity theft, are very common crimes in the U.S., and one of the easiest ways to carry these out is through the internet. Credit card fraud is awful; it leads to a bad credit score, which can be devastating. Identity theft is much worse still, where someone can steal all your information and hence just start living as you, which would negatively impact your life in more than one way.

How to Protect Yourself against Phishing Crimes?

Most email servers come with an innate sense of detecting spam accounts and emails and separating them from the rest of your inbox. However, it is not always effective and you may still end up with a few of such emails in your inbox. The best way to deal with phishing emails is to chuck them into the can without opening them, or if you do open them, just don’t act on the instructions inside. Remember your bank would never email you for sensitive information; if they do have questions they will invite you to come down to the branch.

Finally, if you do fall prey to a phishing activity, you should report it to the authorities right away. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an online portal that you can use to register cyber crime complaints and is looked into regularly.

 

2. Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

A DoS attack happens when a computer system or server is flooded with access requests from made-up return addresses until the system is overwhelmed and completely shut down because requests cannot be authenticated. A much more advanced version of this attack is when multiple systems target a single computer or server to carry out this attack. It is called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and may incur losses to corporations, especially in terms of finance.

A DoS attack is used to sabotage online systems for corporations, flooding them so they stop responding to legitimate requests. It does translate into thousands of dollars in losses from the sabotaged traffic and of course all the recovery costs needed to get the system back online.

 

How to Stop or Fight a DoS Attack?

There is little you can do to fight a DoS attack, but you can equip your system better to prevent it from happening. A perfect protection system would employ the use of firewalls, a VPN, spam filters, as well as other security layers, to not only monitor activities but also identify traffic inconsistencies that may be an early symptom of a DoS attack.

 

3. Ransomware

Ransomware is a kind of attack that is usually done by cybercriminals for monetary gains. They hack into a system and cripple it until a ransom is paid. The virus for the ransomware is usually distributed through spam emails, although it can also be done through corrupted hardware. Once in, the virus shuts down the system and can only be removed from the source.

The problem is usually cleared as soon as a payment is made via cryptocurrency but there is no guarantee that it will. While ransomware is a nuisance, it is not usually a concern for home networks since the target is mostly big-time enterprises with a lot to lose if the system is compromised.

 

How to Protect Yourself against Ransomware?

Protecting yourself against ransomware is perhaps the only way to fight it. Invest in a good antivirus system, VPN, adequate firewalls, and things of the kind. If you have tough security around, it will become harder for you to come under such attacks.

If you do happen to face a ransomware attack, however, please do remember to report it to the relevant authorities rather than just paying them off. The latter of course provides funding for continued criminal activity, which is definitely a bad idea.

 

Tips to Take Care of Your Home Network

There are some other cybercrimes as well but as long as you follow the tips given below, you should be safe for the most part. Some of the things you can do to stay safe over the internet include but are not limited to;

  • Stay ahead of digital trends, especially cybercrime-related news
  • Limit the amount of information you share over the internet. Everything can be used against you.
  • Your home network is your safe place. Look after it. Use the best anti-malware and invest in firewalls to protect your home network, especially if you use the Internet of things (IoT) which is easily compromised
  • Make regular and solid backups to a cloud server, just in case your system ever needs to be reset
  • Firewalls can be trusted to protect your system – through and through
  • Control your system access and your Wi-Fi Password. If possible, create a guest network that your guests can use to connect to the internet without affecting your personal network
  • Implement hard drive encryption

 

To Conclude: How Important Is Internet Safety in 2022?

Your internet guide to safety is not as simple as it appears, but there are a few core things to always remember. Invest in a good internet security system, set up firewalls, and all that to ensure that cyber criminals at kept at bay. If anything seems suspicious, report it to the right authorities and make sure all your internet network including that of your smart devices is up to date. Do not store confidential information on your laptops such as your social security number, credit card info, and other such details.

For more information on identity protection, visit our ADT page. For professional guidance on what provider to pick in your area, call us now at 1-855-349-9328.

 

FAQs

 

1. What is a data breach?

A data breach occurs when a company’s online security system is compromised. This leads to unauthorized access to sensitive information. Data breaches can be dangerous, especially for places such as hotels where credit card information is being stored. Xfinity Internet offers an advanced security suite that protects you against this kind of thing.

 

2. What is malware?

Malware is a kind of virus that can make its way into your computer through a corrupted file download or hardware. Malware is of many kinds such as spyware, ransomware, etc., and can wreak havoc on your computer system.

 

3. What is the Cyber Essentials scheme?

The U.S government, with the goal to increase the security level for companies, has introduced Cyber Essential Scheme. This scheme includes the following protocols.

  • Malware protection
  • Internet/gateway firewalls
  • Secure configuration levels
  • User access management and controls
  • Patch management