Specific Reasons To Prioritize Digital Security
The need for digital security has never been clearer. We hear almost daily about new hacking attacks and online safety issues. They even played a key role in the 2016 presidential election. We all know that it’s important to take steps to secure our devices and internet accounts. The problem is that if you haven’t actually been the victim of a cyber attack or security breach, the issue can seem somewhat abstract. The knowledge of it is there, but the urgency isn’t. For this reason we wanted to take some time to go over a few of the specific reasons for individuals to prioritize digital security.
Ransomware Is On The Rise
At the outset of 2017, ransomware was listed by some people as one of the top cybersecurity threats of the year, and that has already proven to be a good prediction. In May, a massive ransomware attack hit countless businesses and individuals, all of whom were asked to surrender hefty fees in Bitcoin to recover their own data. This is the kind of attack that a lot of experts are worried about these days, and it can spread like wildfire. Granted, this is more of a general concern than a specific one. But if you’ve been careless about digital security in the past, learning about how a given attack works can help scare you straight. In this case, it means that your files are locked up until you hand over a ransom—at which point you can’t even guarantee you’ll recover your data.
Finances Are Going Digital
We can drop the idea that large portions of society will be switching entirely to cryptocurrency, at least for a while. That doesn’t mean our methods of payment aren’t becoming increasingly digital. For some, that means using Bitcoin for transactions. For others, it means transitioning to applications like Apple Pay or some of its competitors. Then there’s the increasing popularity of apps like SquareCash and Venmo to consider. Through all of these different means, we’re giving digital programs access to our bank accounts, and accessing those programs on multiple devices. Most of them boast various digital security certifications, but this is still another reason to be particularly vigilant with your devices and/or cloud provider. Carelessness can result in your financial information and accounts becoming vulnerable.
Games Are Going Financial
Just as we’re conducting more financial business through digital means, we’re also enjoying more gaming activity via financial transaction. Once upon a time we would just buy games and play them. Now we hook these games up to accounts to as to enable various types of in-game purchasing. In some areas of gaming, this has been the norm for some time. One site providing an overview of casino gaming on mobile devices goes so far as to specify that users’ personal and financial information is safe when using their games and apps. Nowadays this kind of disclaimer feels necessary not just on casino platforms but in gaming in general. Through mobile apps and console games alike, we’re using more regularly using bank accounts. That means that it’s one more area of vulnerability. It’s important to make sure that the devices and programs we use here are as secure as possible.
The “Smart” Revolution Is Posing New Risks
This is a larger category that really could make for its own article (or series of articles). The advent of smart devices connected by the cloud can put all kinds of data and functionality at risk. Another piece looking at some of the year’s biggest cybersecurity threats pointed to connected cars and medical devices as two of the main areas of risk, and that should give you some idea of the dangers posed by smart technology. There have already been instances of smart cars being halted on the road by hackers, and the idea of medical devices being interfered with is frightening. This is less about personal security and more about companies providing these machines and devices getting it right. Even so, it’s your own responsibility to make sure you’re using the safest and most secure products available.