Don’t be a Victim: How to Defend your Ultrabook against Cybercrime

Asus Zenbook

These days, cybercrime is becoming a prominent issue. With so much of our information stored on our computers and on the cloud (such as on SkyDrive or Dropbox), it’s more important than ever to protect your personal information and files from hackers and scammers.

If you’re still a bit hazy on what cybercrime is or the various ways you can protect yourself and your ultrabook, read on to learn how you can defend your computer against criminals on the web.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime is essentially any online offense committed by criminals, and can occur on mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Their primary objective is often to steal personal information for the purposes of identity theft and fraud, but cybercriminals can also hijack your computer, illegally spam you, and phish or pharm your devices.

What types of cybercrime are there?

As mentioned earlier, cybercrime can occur in a number of forms – a few of which are listed below:

  • Phishing: Have you ever received an email that appeared to be from eBay or Paypal but the email address looked totally bizarre and inauthentic? If yes, chances are you were targeted by phishing. Phishing involves obtaining personal information through fake emails that look like they originate from authoritative sources. The goal of phishing is to find personal information about you, such as your credit card information or account information – often this serves the purpose of identity fraud or identity theft.
  • Malware/spyware: Cybercriminals can install malware or spyware on your computer, which can both compromise your personal information and cause hackers to be able to view what you are doing online. Used primarily for identity theft purposes, malware can also allow someone to take over your computer from a remote location.
  • Pharming: No, cybercriminals do not plough the lands – pharming is a method of redirecting internet traffic to false websites using Domain Name Service (DNS) hijacking. Pharming is used to direct you to a false website (which often looks like the real one!) in order to solicit personal information from you, such as your credit card details or account username and password.
  • Scamming: Perhaps an age-old technique, scamming involves posing under a false persona in order to solicit information from a user. The classic example is when you receive an email from someone telling you that you won a prize (perhaps from a Nigerian prince), and asking you to provide your bank details in order to receive it.

How can I defend my ultrabook against cybercrime?

With so many different types of cybercrime out there, it can be difficult to know how to defend your ultrabook against all the threats. However, there are a few things you can do to protect the safety of your devices:

  • Always check the URL. Before inputting any sensitive information, take a second and double-check the URL that you are purchasing from. In addition, check that the site is using SSL encryption – you can identify this by looking for an https:// in the URL.
  • Keep your operating system updated. Windows offers regular updates to keep your computer up-to-date with the latest security innovations. Ensure you automatically download and install updates – and periodically check for updates – to defend your computer from threats.
  • Use an ISP with anti-spam and anti-phishing technologies. Some ISPs, such as AOL, block known phishing sites so that you can’t reach them; others have strong firewalls in place to protect their users from malicious attempts to access their information. Unsure of where your ISP stands? SpamHaus has a list of the top 10 worst ISPs for security, so check there before making a decision.
  • Use security software.  When it comes down to it, one of the best ways to protect your information against cybercrime is to use security software. For example, McAfee Antivirus software protects your PC from viruses, hackers and spyware and also detects malware, spyware, and phishing attempts.

How do you protect your ultrabook against cybercrime?

 

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About Jakk

Consumer technology nut with a rather keen love for good writing. 22, owner of multiple consumer technology news and reviews websites, you can rely on me to offer all of you lovely UK consumers up to date information on Ultrabooks. Find me on . Follow me on Twitter.
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