Western governments have warned for weeks that the tensions could spark massive cyberattacks from Russia or its supporters. Some executives said the latest measures might be the trigger. These steps will help you protect yourself and your money. Nothing is guaranteed to fix the risk, but these efforts will help make you less likely a target.
If you have not done so in the past 90 days, this would be a great time to change your passwords on every account you have online. From your email, Amazon, or even Netflix account, changing your passwords is a good measure to protect yourself. Experts also recommend using 2-step authentication on sign-in is also a good idea. If you get an email, text message, or phone call claiming you need to reset your password, experts also recommend going directly to the site for the service that is claiming that you need to change your password. You should never click the link in the email or the text message, and you should never give your password to someone that calls you.
Experts also mention that you should not answer your phone to phone numbers you do not recognize, your phone number could be subject to cloning and be used to attempt to scam others. The phone spoofing act of using local numbers to convert cold calls to answered calls is not only a risk concern it is also an unethical business practice, no real business will use number spoofing to contact you. If you answer a call and you hear a "boop" noise, you should immediately hang up. You should also be aware that some phone scammers will attempt to record your answers and use them to hack into your accounts, so when they say "is this Jon" and you say yes, they could record your voice response and attempt to use that to get into your data. If you are looking for a service no matter the industry, it is good practice to contact companies directly rather than using third-party lead services that sell your data.
There has been a growing concern from unwanted friends requests on Facebook, and other social media platforms, if you do not know the person that sent you the request, you should look carefully at the profile before accepting it, or not accepting it at all. If you get a friends request from someone that you are already friends with, and it seems strange, you should not accept the request until you validate the person that sent it is in fact sending you the request. A few things you can protect yourself with are not accepting friends requests from people that do not have profile pictures, mutual friends, or enough information to be comfortable to know it is a real request.
When doing business online, you should never visit or do business with any website that does not have a valid security certificate. The security certificate ensures that your connection is secure on the website. When you exchange information or interact with it, it happens in a format that will not expose sensitive information.
Teach your kids about web security and check their devices often.
Internet criminals will target children because they know they are not equipped with the knowledge to protect themselves. There is an uptick of these predators lurking on every platform and parents need to make sure their children are being more careful during these times. There have been several preditors that have been caught lately lurking on these social platforms, such as TikTok, Fortnite, and Among us to name a few.
What the tech industry is doing to protect you.
Several developers' collation communities are working together to combat cyber threats to keep the internet safe. Although there is no 100% guarantee fix, many I.T. and Developer companies are volunteering time to work on security concerns online. They are also working on child safety concerns with projects like "The Great Londini", a TikTok initiative to combat cyberbullying. Another outfit locally is PCI Indianapolis and PCI Muncie, who are setting up decoys to catch potential child molesters before they can victimize someone. This news page, and parent company, Metromedia supports both of these projects. Many developers and internet security programmers are also parents, and share a common goal to make the internet safe not only for you but for their own children.
How can you help?
There are a few things you can do to help protect others and yourself to curve the reach of these cybercriminals. Reporting fake profiles is one of the most popular ways. Google Chrome has a suspicious site reporter extension that you can add to Google Chrome allowing you the ability to report suspicious websites for review. All search engines have or are currently working on a feature that allows the platform to become aware of suspicious activity, and each has a group of developers searching around the clock to find these, and take them down before they can do damage.