Tips and Tricks: How to Be an Easy Target for Cyber Criminals*

    310,000 new malicious web files were detected by Kaspersky Lab every day last 2015. Lucky for you, there are over 7 billion people in the world and innumerable devices connected to the information superhighway at any given time that the chances of your machine getting infected is practically non-existent. Instead of fearing every single link, email, or message out there, try loosening up. The web’s too big a place for cyber criminals to ever stumble into you. Here are some tips on how to best experience the trustworthy and not-at-all-trolling bunch of 1s and 0s we call the Internet.

    23-percent of new malware threats were coded to either steal or extort money during the first quarter of 2015. That leaves you a 77-percent chance that you won’t end up with a ransomware by opening unsolicited emails and attachments. That’s statistically in your favor so go ahead and download that one weird trick to losing belly fat.

    On the off chance that you have critical files and are afraid of ransomware (chicken!) don’t bother making a backup of your data—just get everything back by paying the insane ransom amount.

    Help out the poor Nigerian prince who’s willing to transfer you a truckload of money, then get ready to meet the singles in your area by clicking the links in your inbox. They’re not fishy at all. You even get bonus points by inputting your financial credentials!

    The most obvious passwords are the hardest ones to guess. “password,” “12345,” “qwerty,” “your birthday,” and “your name” will take decades, if not centuries, to guess. Use the same password for multiple accounts because no one will think that you’d use the same credential twice.

    Show the 65-percent of shoppers afraid of making online credit card transactions what they’re missing by registering your information on stores that seem too good to be true. iPhone 6s Plus for the numbers at the front and back of my Visa? Score!

    Who doesn’t love public Wi-Fi? Besides being free, almost anybody with some knowledge of how access points work can easily see what you’re doing, the sites you are viewing, and the information you’re sending. Hey, at least it’s free, right?

    Speaking of free, there are tons of freeware in the World Wide Web just waiting to be installed. Be the envy of your peers by having a toolbar-filled browser, pop-ups popping up every ten seconds, and icon-packed tasked bar. No, they don’t make your computer slower. It’s just you.

    Bluetooth, NFC, and other forms of wireless communication allow you to meet new friends and obtain files you normally wouldn’t bother with on a normal day. .exe, .msi and .apk files should be automatically saved should they appear.

    Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2016 issue.

    Words by Chris Noel Hidalgo


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