Cyber security risks that might not be on your radar… yet

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In today’s digital age, we often think of cybersecurity as a fortress of firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption protocols designed to protect our sensitive information from the ever-looming threats of cyberattacks. However, the landscape of cyber threats is constantly evolving, and as it does, so must our understanding of what constitutes a risk in the digital realm.

In this blog post, we’ll be looking beyond the most common cybersecurity threats and exploring risks that are often overlooked, underestimated, or simply not considered. These are the cyber threats that may not readily come to mind for businesses, but are just as real and potentially damaging as the more conventional ones. 

Public wi-fi 

Using public wifi networks can be a convenient way to stay connected when you’re on the move, but it also exposes you to various security risks. 

When you connect to a public wifi hotspot, you’re essentially sharing the same network with strangers, and this environment can make you vulnerable to cyber threats. Cybercriminals often exploit the lack of security in these networks in order to get hold of your data. They will set up public wifi access points with names that mimic legitimate ones (e.g. a cafe name or location name), and once you’ve connected to their access point, they can capture sensitive information such as login details, credit card details, and personal data. 

To protect yourself from this threat, it’s best to never connect to public wifi unless you are certain of the legitimacy, or use a VPN.

Personal devices for work 

Using personal devices for work (often referred to as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD)), can introduce significant cyber security risks to an organisation. 

Although the convenience of using familiar devices can boost productivity, it can also open the door to unexpected vulnerabilities. Personal devices are likely to be less strictly managed or secured as company-issued devices, making them more vulnerable to malware and data breaches. Employees may download malicious apps, visit risky websites, or connect to unsecured networks, potentially exposing sensitive company data. It’s also worth remembering that when employees use personal devices for work, the line between personal and professional data blurs, meaning the data stolen can be both business data and personal data. 

To avoid this cyber security issue, we suggest not using personal devices for work, or if this is unavoidable, cyber security training is essential. 

Untrustworthy apps 

Downloading untrustworthy or malicious apps is a massive cybersecurity risk that can compromise your device and personal information. 

Cyber criminals often create fake apps that look legitimate to deceive users into installing them. Once installed, these malicious apps can steal sensitive data, such as passwords, financial information, and contact details, or infect your device with malware. These apps can also exploit vulnerabilities in your device’s operating system, granting unauthorised access to hackers. 

To mitigate this risk, only download apps from trusted sources like official app stores, read reviews and ratings, and be cautious when granting permissions to apps. It’s also important to regularly update your device and the legitimate apps on it. 

Social media 

There are many benefits to social media, like being able to connect with people around the world, share updates and collect memories, but this comes with its own risks.

These platforms can be a breeding ground for various threats, including phishing attacks, identity theft, and the spread of malware. Cyber criminals often impersonate individuals or organisations, sending messages and links to trick users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious content. 

Oversharing personal information on social media can also lead to identity theft or social engineering attacks. The vast amount of personal data shared on these platforms makes them attractive targets for data breaches and privacy violations, which is why it’s crucial to be cautious and mindful of what you share. We also suggest regularly reviewing privacy settings on your social media accounts to reduce these cyber security risks.

Dating apps 

Dating apps have become increasingly popular for connecting people, but they also come with cyber security risks that people need to be aware of.

With the ability to join these apps anonymously and create fake profiles, catfishing has become a popular means of stealing personal data or tricking people into sending money. Users may also exploit the emotional vulnerability of individuals seeking companionship to spread malware or launch phishing attacks, which can then go on to affect more than just the one person. It’s a cruel tactic but it’s happening all over the world. 

It’s crucial that users are cautious about who they are talking to and that they can see the person is a ‘real’ person and not a catfish. Most dating apps have a verification feature, which although is not the most reliable, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. 

Staying protected with SupPortal 

At SupPortal, we work with businesses to prioritise their cyber safety. Education is key when it comes to spotting unusual cyber security risks, which is why we’re dedicated to sharing our knowledge and expertise. 

Alongside education, whether it’s a security breach from cyber criminals, viruses, malware or even an accidental employee breach, we can help. We provide a range of CSaaS solutions including Managed Cyber Security subscriptions, Cyber Security Assessments, Cyber Security Awareness Training, Cyber Incident Response and Disaster Recovery.

If you’d like to talk further about how SupPortal can help keep you and your business safe, chat to us at 02380982218. 

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