Despite new technology bringing about ways for people to protect themselves online, cybercriminals are still thriving. Indeed, if cybercrime was a sector of its own, it would have earned $6 trillion in 2021.
There are certain online sectors that are particularly susceptible to attacks, and users need to be extra vigilant when visiting them. It has been discovered that social media is one of the main sectors for data breaches so how can you ensure that you are well protected when visiting your favorite sites?
Weak Passwords Make Life Easy for Cybercriminals
One of the biggest reasons why cybercrime is still costing governments all over the world trillions is that many internet users fail to browse safely. There are some seriously weak passwords in circulation, making it simple work for hackers to crack them.
According to research from ExpressVPN into common password usage, “123456” is the most used password in the world. Each country also has a favorite that is used by a great number of people. It makes life a lot easier on the part of the people who want to guess these log-in credentials.
It’s not entirely the fault of users that passwords have become so easy to break, however. Tech.co claims that the average internet user has 100 passwords, and it would be impossible to remember all of them. That’s why many people recycle passwords they are most likely to remember. Luckily, technology looks to be moving beyond this security measure in the future, with biometrics starting to come to the fore.
Which Sites Have been Hit Hardest by Cybercrime?
Cybercriminals are likely to attack sites that have a lot of users, knowing that people share many personal details about themselves, because they want to steal as much data as possible. They also target sites at which users may not be as concerned about security. For instance, sites where people don’t need to share their bank details frequently. This could be why they go for social media sites.
One of the biggest data breaches in recent years was on LinkedIn in 2021. According to a report in Fortune, 700 million users’ accounts were compromised, and their personal details were put up for auction on the dark web. Facebook had a similar breach in 2019, when 533 million users were affected. Twitter was also hacked in 2018, and 330 million people had their accounts scraped.
What Measures can You Take to Stay Protected?
If you want to make life more difficult for hackers and ensure your data is safe, you need to use more complex passwords. This can be done by installing a password manager that remembers all the different ones for you. You can also use a VPN to log on to the internet, as this masks your IP address and makes your activity more difficult to trace.
Many people are aware that their passwords are not strong enough, but they fail to do anything about it. Technology could bring about new ways of logging on in the future but, for now, strong passwords are essential.