In our modern era of technology, the process of creating and exploring our world has become simpler every day. However, in the midst of all of this technology, there is a looming dark side to our advancement. Although the majority of the internet is your everyday consumer, there are those on the internet who would wish to take advantage of you. This article will reflect on who these people are, and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
One of the largest threats to consumer internet safety is spam. Although spam is a relatively common example, it can be one of the most dangerous sources of illicit activity on the internet. Spam can come in the form of a popup ad, an adware program, or even in your email. This threat is specifically targeted to those wishing to get free stuff, or simply those who do not read the entire fine print. The most common example would be ads for free electronics, or free in-game currency.
Another threat is social engineering. Social Engineering (referred to in this article as SE), is the act of human hacking. It is used to trick someone into doing what the attacker wishes. A prime example would be asking someone for their password to fix a computer. Although it is not the most tech-savvy type of hacking out there, it can be deadly to those who do not understand the threat.
Finally, malware and rogue programs are a threat to the internet society. These programs are made to steal information ranging from something as tame as a house address, to private information such as Social Security information. Often referred to as a RAT (Remote Administration Tool), it is one of the most common and easy to produce types of malware on the internet. Simply visiting a rogue website leaves you at risk of getting infected.
Even with the combined threats on the internet, there are simple things you can do to keep yourself safe. One of the most important things to remember is having anti-virus. In the past, anti-virus has cost money, usually ranging around $10 or more a month. Today, many companies such as Microsoft and Malwarebytes will provide a free anti-virus program for personal use.
As well as having anti-virus, the act of keeping an eye out for suspicious activity is one of the most important aspects of being on the internet. Thankfully, most threats on the internet are visible in some way, and can be thwarted by avoiding or removing the threats. One of the golden rules of the internet is this: “Never give out your password, even to a best friend.” Simply following this golden rule keeps you safe from many threats on the internet.