A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Security
It is estimated that digital crimes will cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
For the typical person, understanding digital security is daunting and complex.
With the wide range of digital privacy tools and the frequent data breaches, it's simple to feel alienated from this domain.
After reading this guide, you'll better grasp digital security and know how to protect yourself from various online vulnerabilities and threats. This guide will cover:
- What is digital security?
- What is included in a typical digital security suite?
- Difference between digital security and cybersecurity
- Why is digital security importance
- Digital security statistics
- Who is attacking me?
- Types of digital attacks
- Most common digital security threats
- How does digital security work?
- Best digital security tools to protect you from getting hacked?
- How to protect your sensitive data & personal devices?
What Is Digital Security?
Digital security protects your personal and corporate data, devices, and online identity from attacks on the internet. It comprises all the technology, techniques, tools, and security training to keep you secure online.
Your digital presence is a network of data, tools, activities, and information systems that continually communicate. Researchers and cybersecurity specialists worldwide are creating cutting-edge digital security solutions to counter the massive number of online attacks.
What Is Included in A Typical Digital Security Suite?
The objective of digital security is to deliver an easy-to-use solution that protects all elements of your digital footprint. Therefore, a typical digital security suite comprises:
- Device security
- Identity theft protection
- Network security
- Credit monitoring
- Antivirus and anti-malware software
- Virtual Private Network
- Password manager
- Social security monitoring
- Dark web monitoring
- Parental controls & Family protection
Difference Between Digital Security and Cyber Security
It includes every reactive and proactive way of preventing illegal access to an individual's accounts, data, devices, finances, and identity. It is an intricate domain ensuring data security for all technical elements and their human relations. It comprises computer systems and networks, connected devices, sensitive data, and multiple other layers of technology we use daily.
It is a cybersecurity segment that focuses mainly on safeguarding your digital presence, like your online activities and the relevant data.
Why Is Digital Security Important?
In 2020, around 791K complaints were filed with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), with losses totaling more than $4.1 billion. Victims lost more than $54 million due to phishing schemes alone.
Although every person of every age is susceptible to a cyber attack, seniors are particularly exposed to fraud. Thus it is crucial for their security and welfare that they have access to digital security. However, we continue to see that older adults are most affected by online fraud and cyber threats.
Your digital identity is seen by cyber criminals as a revenue source to steal your wealth. Hackers seek to isolate victims with poor or inadequate security mechanisms.
People increasingly realize the value of investing in digital security using new tools and improved routines. Sadly, this mindset and behavioral shift frequently occur following a data incident.
Digital Security Statistics
- As per IC3, the world encounters over 2000 attack complaints daily. Worse, the total number of cyber attack complaints has jumped by 69% since 2019.
- Cybercrime up 600% Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
- Cybercrime cost makes up a value worth 1% of the Global GDP.
- 71.1 million people fall victim to cyber crimes yearly.
- Individuals lose $318 billion to cybercrime.
As a result,
- 61.6% of individuals have become more careful about the data they share online.
- 50.8% of individuals have become more discreet when using new payment options.
- 48.6% of individuals check their credit reports more often.
- 40.7% have signed up for an identity theft program.
- 35.6% research who they do business with online.
Who Is Attacking Me?
Understanding who is attacking you is not always simple. Some people hack with positive motives. Before answering, who is attacking me, you must understand ethical hacking. It utilizes specialized methods to identify and test computer system flaws to report, correct, or appropriately safeguard data systems from malicious attackers.
It means your attacker may not always have bad motives. To understand it better, we will discuss the 3 types of hackers after your data:
- Ethical hackers are also known as white hat hackers. They practice ethical hacking to protect computer systems and secure technologies. The people entrusted with addressing the problems, from software developers to company leaders, receive restoration instructions from ethical hackers who assume the hacker's viewpoint. That's because both strive to ensure everyone can use the internet safely.
- Black hat hackers, also known as bad actors, threat actors, and malicious hackers, use their skills and knowledge to steal information and gain unauthorized access to networks, the information, or their victims' money. Black hats, meanwhile, are driven by more sinister goals. They frequently try to gain significant sums of money quickly or carry out ego-enhancing hacks that enhance their status in cybercrime. Some produce, market, or lease infrastructure and harmful hacking tools to carry out cyberattacks. Some malevolent hackers even participate in state-sponsored cyberwarfare campaigns like Petya, NotPetya, and WannaCry.
- Gray hat hackers use unethical tactics occasionally while still acting with good intent.
Types of Digital Attacks
Digital attacks are divided into three main types that can affect you and your loved ones.
Spray & pray Attacks
Spray and pray attacks target millions of individuals and are highly automated. They ensure "excellent coverage" even when there are very few victims. Malware campaigns, Phishing emails, websites that transmit harmful code, and URLs that start ransomware attacks are all examples of Spray and pray attacks.
Targeted attacks, as specified by their name, are highly targeted on a particular asset and leverage personalization to take advantage of unwary victims' access, information, or wealth. Smishing is the most common instance in which individuals are targeted with malicious or phishing links using seemingly genuine SMS that entice the target to divulge their financial data, such as credit card details.
Advanced Persistent Attacks
APTs use careful planning and study to achieve a huge target with many objectives, all leading to a sizable reward. These might not be aimed at you specifically, but they impact the businesses whose services and goods you use. Hackers infiltrate the network to get information about how the company operates and malicious implant code that would allow them to carry out assaults later. The final objective is to blackmail the company by threatening to release or sell its data for a high profit.
These cyberattacks affect your digital security in the short and long term. In the short term, you may experience data loss, financial loss (or both), and occasionally account and device lockouts. Hackers' use of the data they learn about you through voluntarily and unintentionally disclosing personal data may have long-term effects.
Among the consequences that can be the most expensive, both financially and emotionally, is digital identity theft.
Most Common Digital Security Threats
This section will discover the common digital security threats you may face daily. Understanding these threats will prepare you for proactive protection.
Attackers can create a highly accurate picture of you from your online footprint, including who you are, your activities, your likes and dislikes, your professional expertise, and your wealth.
Think of your privacy as a riddle. Much of your private data is accessible to the public, making it more straightforward for hackers to put it together.
Since the average individual has more than 100 online profiles, your data is disseminated over the web and beyond in networks that retain your personal details for extended periods under your authority.
Ignoring these threats and inadequate digital security awareness may become more detrimental. Therefore, it is a brilliant idea to perform a personal information exposure test to see how widely dispersed your private data is.
These four things make it absurdly simple for hackers to access your internet accounts:
- Using the same password for multiple accounts.
- Use your name, pet name, or ordered digits and letters as your password.
- Preventing the use of multi-factor authentication.
- Using SMS-based two-factor authentication method.
Without these crucial access control measures, black hat hackers will find it much simpler to access your accounts. Once inside, they start gathering more information, using your contacts to discover more victims, and even taking control of your accounts to sell them on the dark web.
Too Many Devices
All kinds of internet-connected devices, from phones and computers to IoT gadgets like smart cars, smart doorbells, AI-based home assistants, and even smart cities, have entered our daily lives. Your threat is increased by the information on these devices and their operating systems and applications. The more points a hacker can use to access illegally, the harder it becomes to keep it.
Without the proper security precautions and management, even less experienced attackers might start a disastrous ripple effect.
Cyber attackers are skilled at abusing more than simply technology and user information. Additionally, they know what makes individuals react, such as surprise and terror. You should therefore be aware of the classic red flags of internet scams, such as:
- Dubious login attempts
- Data breach notifications
- Unrecognized bills on your bank statements
- Unrecognized devices
- Unfamiliar comments on your credit report
How Does Digital Security Work?
This section lists the best practices to establish robust digital privacy and individual security ecosystem, including timeless ideas for better digital security in 2022 and beyond.
- List the most crucial digital assets you have.
- Examine the extent to which you are personally exposed via apps, internet accounts, and mobile devices.
- Identify the potential disclosure points for your social security number, driver's license, health insurance, etc.
- Investing in products/services to protect your digital security and online privacy.
- Think about protecting data stored on your devices and online data available to the public.
- Consider getting family protection from identity theft to quickly transfer that safety to your family members and secure them.
- By receiving fraud alerts that warn you of nefarious activities, you can position yourself for success.
- Use notifications to monitor your risk exposure and delete any data you can access or progressively reduce it with discretion.
- When you receive a warning, act quickly and forcefully to preserve your privacy and security.
- When you purchase new hardware or subscribe to new services, use caution.
- Check your bank records and credit report frequently for any odd behavior.
Best Digital Security Tools to Protect You from Getting Hacked
This section covers the best digital security tools to secure you from hacking attempts:
Enhancing digital security by using antivirus and anti-malware software. These tools will ensure your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets are secure to use irrespective of their operating system and configuration.
Using a secure password manager to save all your passwords. This tool makes creating and using passwords much safer and more accessible.
Internet Traffic Encryption and Filtering
VPN tools for internet traffic encryption and filtering may help you automatically block cyber attacks posed as legal data transfers.
Identity Theft Protection
It is used to extensively monitor your private data, such as accounts, IDs, and other sensitive information that hackers may use to trick you.
Dark Web Monitoring
These tools alert you when cyber attacks and malicious hackers use or trade your personal data on the internet from anywhere in the world.
Financial Fraud Protection
These tools help in credit monitoring and get almost real-time notifications when new queries arise on your credit files, such as issuing new credit cards or bank loans, when suspicious spending indicates your monetary assets may be in trouble.
Tools that administer parental controls implement a healthy time limit your kids spend online. These tools allow parents to block specific websites and apps and restrict screen time.
Good customer service navigates crucial situations like losing your wallet or confidential documents. It also ensures you are getting the full benefits of your security suite.
Family protection tools extend all the security features available to your loved ones and their devices.
How to Protect Your Sensitive Data & Personal Devices?
The first step is understanding your risks and updating yourself against the best digital security practices. Once you know what you are dealing with, you can better understand what you need to tackle the situation.
You can do this by:
- Using strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts.
- Installing applications from secure and reputable sources only.
- Scanning files to identify threats and blocking harmful pop-ups.
- Limiting the sharing of personal details when purchasing online.
Another step is to get yourself a one-in-all digital security solution. You can find the best tools by:
- Reading reviews online.
- Checking out websites for recommendations to research the best options against your requirements.
- Validating that the digital security company you choose is legit with a team of bonafide security professionals, offers 24/7/365 support, and doesn't have any undercover pricing schemes.
Select a security suite that offers 24/7 access to security professionals in the United States. Here is what typical digital security software should offer:
- Identity monitoring
- Wi-Fi security protection
- Fraud remediation
- Centralized password manager
- Encrypt data
- Monitor sensitive data
- Update regularly
- Antivirus and Anti-malware suite
- Traffic Filter
- Threat Notification
Your digital security depends on staying informed, looking for threats, and using sophisticated security measures. You can accomplish this by limiting your online personal data about yourself. Deleting what is unnecessary, such as old/unused accounts, files, apps, direct messages, emails, etc. Using a password manager to track your online accounts. Minimizing your presence online and leaving as little of a digital footprint as possible. Acquiring digital security toolsets that are the greatest available
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