How to avoid being a victim of cybercrime?

Individuals and organizations can be affected ue to cybercrime business. How to avoid being a victim of cybercrime?

Cybercriminals have taken advantage of a more connected world, costing individuals and companies more than $ 500 000 million dollars each month, according to a report of Cybersecurity Ventures. However, users can avoid being a victim of cybercrime in Latin America with basic security measures.

Individuals and organizations can be affected at an operational and reputation level due to cybercrime business. According to a Microsoft study on online fraud, technical support scams play a critical role in these types of attacks, where three out of every five users around the world have been victims.

How do scammers act?

Meet the Scammers. Source: ABC News In-depth

Scammers use to pose as employees or representatives of tech companies. They issue false notifications to users feigning attention to a suspected malware infection or security incident, resulting in more than 6,500 complaints a month reporting support fraud technicians worldwide, which have affected 65% of the Mexicans surveyed.

These approaches have gone from spam calls to fake pop-ups on the computer, adapting their tactics to convince victims to pay to “fix” a non-existent problem with their device or software. At worst, they try to steal personal or financial information and, if allowed to remotely connect to the computer to perform this “repair,” they will often install malware, ransomware, or other unwanted programs that can extract information and/or corrupt data or devices.

To prevent this type of incident, it is important to consider that companies do not communicate unexpectedly with their customers, any 1: 1 attention must be initiated by the user.

Recommendations to avoid being a victim of cybercrime

  • If you get a notification or error message with a phone number, do not call that line. Companies do not typically include such information in their communications.
  • Download software from official sources. It is dangerous to install external programs, since they do not have a security verification and may have been modified by third parties to insert malicious files.
  • Use browsers which interface is enabled to block fraudulent sites and pop-up messages. For example, Microsoft Edge blocks this kind of contents thanks to the capabilities of Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.
  • Activate Windows Security’s real-time antivirus protection, a solution that detects and removes registered fraudulent malware.
  • The technical support staff will never request payments in cryptocurrencies or gift cards.

Oops, I was a victim again. What should I do?

It is not always possible to timely identify a tech support scam. In the case of Mexico, 23% of those surveyed have declared that they continue with the fraud dynamics after the initial interaction, which has impacted on monetary losses for 14% of those affected and peaks of stress for 68%. In these situations, it is advisable to uninstall any type of file indicated by the attackers as soon as possible, carry out a security scan to find and mitigate any type of malware present, format the system, and change the passwords of the accounts open on the computer.

You can help companies to stop scammers whether they claim to be from any technology company, by reporting tech support scams through official communication channels of the companies.

Read also: Greatest Threats to Cybersecurity in 2020