The Internet has become a mainstay in our lives in recent years. With that trend, it is no surprise that as with everything, it comes with risks as well as rewards.
While everyone has the potential to be a victim of cybercrime, not everyone has the same chances. The more we share, communicate and integrate our lives and businesses with the internet, the more we increase our chances.
While for most of us the risk is manageable, there are many factors that can increase your cybersecurity risk level and make you a more appealing target.
#1 Your Wealth
It should be no surprise that cyber attackers are interested in those with lots of wealth. While there are other motivations, one motivation of cyber attackers is financial gain. Those with obvious wealth are prime targets because it signals that there is a high chance of a good payday.
#2 Your business status
Companies usually have significant resources to dedicate to protecting themselves.
Cyber attackers are keying into this. Instead of attacking companies directly, they are turning their focus to key individuals within those companies. Key individuals are those which have the access, authority or influence to help carry out the cyber attackers’ intentions.
These roles may be in the target company itself, such as executives, finance or accounting, IT, vendor relations, etc.
They could also be at other companies related to the target, such as trusted partners which could be used as a gateway.
#3 Publicity or Fame
If you are a public or famous individual, there are the people who love you and those that don’t love you as much.
Especially if you create photos or videos for social media, revealing too much information even only a couple of times can give a cyber attacker enough to put the pieces together.
This goes further than your location as well. Confidential and personal information could be hiding in the background of photos or videos.
#4 Frequent Travel
Nowadays we’re so connected, almost any coffee shop, restaurant, and hotel now offers free WiFi. However, cyber attackers are wise to our need to stay connected.
There is the possibility they could be monitoring the WiFi and stealing the information going across it. They could be sitting behind you reading your screen over your shoulder. They could even be stealing your devices out of your hotel room while you’re out enjoying the pool.
#5 Lots of Tech
Lots of unsecured internet-connected or IoT (Internet of Things) tech can be a haven for cyber attackers. They can use them to create botnets, as a foothold in your network, or as they were intended (such as a camera) to monitor your movements.
Even though employees may not have the same access, authority or influence as an some in an organization or household, they can still be a target. A cyber attacker can use them to access your network. They could use them to access those that do have access, authority or influence, or to achieve the cyber attackers’ goals by other means.
Regardless of whether they’re business or domestic employees, a cyber attacker can use them to obtain information and access to you or your network.
Whatever you do online could impact your finances, reputation, career, business and even personal safety. Protecting yourself and being mindful of the factors which can increase your cybersecurity risk can help you reduce the chances of getting caught up in cybercrime.