Choosing the best possible protection is vital to guard against current Internet threats.
South Africa comes in third, falling behind Russia and China with the highest number of cybercrime victims per country. This statistic is alarming since Russia and China have a much higher population density and are more advanced in terms of technology infrastructure.
Many South Africans become victims to cybercrime, as they are unaware of how malware or cybercrime acts have evolved and what they can do to protect themselves against them. Scammers constantly change their tactics, in the hope to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks, where consumers are less aware of the security risks.
It is evident that not only individual consumers are exposed to cybercrimes but small businesses are second in line to receiving cyber-attacks. Small businesses often retain very valuable information for hackers, like customers’ credit card numbers, intellectual property, and money in the bank. Symantec reports that “companies with fewer than 250 employees were the focus of 31 percent of all cyber-attacks in 2012.”
While small businesses are an easy target, professionals that work in organisations such as Medical or financial institutions are also frequently targeted by cybercriminals. “According to a Kaspersky Lab survey of 3,900 IT professionals worldwide, Financial Services and Healthcare are the two business sectors most likely to see security concerns as a barrier to implementing IT virtualisation technology.”
People who work in finance are an easy target as they provide a direct line to credit card information. Healthcare professionals have also been a target for sensitive medical information, particularly since the emergence of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and healthcare portals. Hackers can sell this personal medical information or alternatively use it for medical fraud.
Most of us take basic precautions to protect ourselves against hacking, such as deleting suspicious e-mails and sms’s, as well as ensuring our personal details are safe online. We often however, ignore the important tips, such as using a complex password or changing them regularly. More than a third of us do not watch out for the padlock symbol in the search engine, before giving out sensitive information, such as banking details or passwords. Making use of anti-virus software is also an essential tool in deterring cyber criminals, as it makes it more difficult for hackers to breach your personal information.