2020 may sound futuristic, but it's right around the corner, bringing with it a lot of new and exciting technologies, but also new threats to our online safety. What can we expect to see this upcoming year?
Smart Home Devices will be a target
As our homes and devices are getting smarter, so are the attackers. Any device can be hacked, and when it comes to our homes, not only is your personal information at risk, but so is your family's safety. One way that hackers do this is by locking users out of their smart home devices, such as routers, speakers, thermostats, smart TVs, or lights, and then demanding a fee for unlocking it. Imagine sitting at home on Christmas day when your heat suddenly stops working. It's cold, and most repair shops and electricians are closed for the holiday. How much would you pay a hacker to unlock your thermostat?
Scams will be harder to identify and trace
Phishing sites, tech support, banking, and other scams are becoming harder and harder to distinguish, even for the savvy web user. Criminals create perfect clones of websites, tricking users into believing that they're interacting with a legitimate business, when in fact, the website and individual(s) behind the spoofed website are collecting your data and profiting from the spread of misinformation and ad revenue. In 2020 hackers will take it up another notch, creating new techniques that are harder to spot and trace back to the source.
Hackers will advance in their use of the Dark Web
When hackers get their hands on personal information, accounts, and payment details, they profit from the information by selling them on the dark web. Valid payment details and other information used to commit identity theft sell for thousands of dollars, and the market for this information is huge. In 2020, this trend is expected to continue, and cyber criminals will continue to develop new techniques to profit from the sale and trade of personal data on the dark web to promote their malicious intentions.
Breaches will get more complicated and harder to beat
No company is unhackable. At Guardio, we continuously look for new vulnerabilities on a mission to save user's data from getting breached. In 2019, we saved over 5 Million Evernote users by discovering such a vulnerability. This year we are expecting hackers will only increase their malicious actions, improve their coding abilities, and aim for the most prominent companies.
Small Businesses will be an attractive new target.
Small to medium size businesses typically don't have the resources that big companies have for cybersecurity systems, making them and their customer base an easy target for hackers. In addition to a lesser security, they are also less informed of steps that should be taken in the event of a data breach, resulting in a much slower and less complete recovery process.
What can I do to protect myself?
- A new year is an excellent time to go over your logins and change passwords, especially ones that include obvious information like birthdays or anniversaries. See tips on choosing a password here.
- Check the apps that have third party access to your information. You can do this from your Facebook settings, and you'll be surprised how many there are.
- Never do any personal errands, like logging onto your banking website or making online purchases on public Wifi. Anything you do on public Wifi is traceable and can lead to data leaks in no time.
- Keep track of your personal information and monitor the web for potential breaches. Use Guardio to check now for free.
- Watch out for fake news. Fake news is used to manipulate political ideas but also to lure victims into investment scams or phishing sites by creating counterfeit interviews and ads.
- If you own a small business, make sure your employees are on board with Cyber Security, look out for malicious emails, and browse with care.
- Keep all your software up to date and use a reliable anti-virus that can protect your browsing and save you from scams, privacy violations, and viruses.