Cybercriminals are constantly on the hunt for new ways that they can infiltrate the privacy of their victims. With different scams, malicious software, and so many other methods, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest tactics that cybercriminals rely on. But don’t worry – there are always emerging and innovative ways that you can keep yourself safe online. Today, we’ll show you the top 5 terrifying tricks that cybercriminals use against you and how you can protect yourself against them.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents users from being able to access their devices or important files. As the name suggests, cybercriminals demand a ransom in order for users to regain access. However, this type of attack is more dangerous than it seems. The perpetrators often keep track of your credentials, which can be used again for future attacks. This is just one of the reasons why it’s so necessary to update your login information after you have been the victim of a cyberattack. 

2. Spam Emails

We’re all familiar with spam emails clogging our inboxes. Unfortunately, some cybercriminals have found a way to create fake messages that resemble real emails you might receive from your favorite brands, hiring managers, or even your boss. These correspondences usually contain a link or an attachment of some kind. In most cases, they will lead to a piece of dangerous software or to a website that will infect your device. The best way to protect against these attacks is to use reliable antivirus software and to carefully read all of your incoming emails.

3. Banking Scams

One of the most common reasons that a criminal might target a victim is to steal their financial information. Banking credentials are one of the most highly coveted things that a hacker can obtain, as they can be resold at a high price. As a result, there are a variety of different banking scams. Scammers can attempt to impersonate your bank over the phone, through text messages, or in emails. In other circumstances, they may trick users into visiting a fake banking website to capture usernames and passwords. One way to navigate this trap is to never give your personal information to a banking representative unless you can verify their affiliation with your financial institution. 

4. Phishing Scams

Similar to the attack method for spam emails, a phishing scam portrays a message or an email as being from a trustworthy source with the intention of getting users to download dangerous software. These attacks can pop up in your email, but they can also appear in places like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Discord. It can be challenging to determine which messages are malicious and which ones are authentic. One way to know for sure is to check for a URL that contains spelling errors or uncommon fonts. You may even see a link to an attachment that appears in a file type that you’re unfamiliar with. 

5. Social Engineering Attacks

In this type of scam, users are targeted by actual people rather than a code or a virus. With a social engineering attack, a person might receive a phone call from someone impersonating a financial institution, a legal firm, or any other individual that might request important information. Instead of a robocall, an actual person will reach out in an attempt to persuade or trick a victim into surrendering passwords or even money. It can be difficult to discover which call is legitimate but one way to know for sure is that most banks or officials will not call and attempt to get money from you over the phone. If you encounter a call from someone claiming to represent the police or the IRS and they are requesting that you transfer funds to them while they’re on the line, it’s very likely that you’re experiencing a social engineering attack.

Online Protection Against Cybercriminals

Unfortunately, these aren’t the only attack methods that cybercriminals implement to steal data and money from their victims. In fact, there are dozens of different ways that hackers and scam artists will attempt to trick people into surrendering personal information and financial data. One of the best ways to keep yourself safe is by staying up to date on cybersecurity risks. Another option is to utilize a powerful antivirus and VPN on all of your devices. 

Protecting your personal computer and phone against cyber threats can seem tedious, but PrivadoVPN makes it easy to download a reliable VPN with threat protection on any of your devices. With our ad blocker integration, Kill Switch functionality, and enhanced encryption, it’s never been a better time to get PrivadoVPN to keep yourself safe against cybersecurity risks. 

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