As the internet continues to penetrate ever more areas of our lives, more and more people across the globe are now connected to the internet in one manner or the other. With the advent of social media, people are also sharing more of their personal lives online. Ecommerce has brought in another layer of complexity with all the highly sensitive financial data, bank details, credit card and other details are now a part of the internet. That means we are sharing sensitive information about their lives which-if it falls into the wrong hands-untold can cause loss and damage. Cyber criminals and hackers are looking to make the most of this by constantly trying to hack into systems to steal all this sensitive data. Online security or cyber security thus has become a crucial aspect of all our online transactions- whether personal, professional or commercial. Let us look at some areas which are especially targeted by hackers to understand why the importance of cyber security will only grow in the coming times:
As we have seen in recent times, some of the largest technology companies have fallen victim to cyber attacks in recent times. In September 2016, Yahoo was hit by a cyber attack resulting in a data theft that affected 500 million users. Stolen information included user names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and hashed passwords. At a time when more and more people are going online to get most of their business done, attacks like this show just how vulnerable even the most secure of systems can be. This type of attack can prove fatal for the credibility, the market position and business of companies.
College students remain some of the most active users of the internet both to interact on social media, share vital information including personal photos and also exchange study notes and more. That is why college campuses are a prime area for hackers to target. Hackers devise a number of ways by which to attack the vulnerable college network because there is loose monitoring of these networks. Colleges and educational institutions have to include solid cyber security into their plans to protect the data of their institution and its students.
The areas we talked about represent just two of the innumerable areas which are susceptible to cyber attacks by cyber criminals. Once hackers get hold of sensitive and critical personal data of the users or the companies, there is no way to asses or mitigate the damage. The data can be used to blackmail, directly steal money or can be sold to interested parties for large sums of money. As technology advances, hackers are able to devise smarter ways of sneaking into secure systems. Everyone who uses the internet is potentially at risk. We can never relax because even our best efforts are sometimes not good enough against unexpected cyber attacks. And to successfully foil any risk or attack, it is first important to understand it fully. Once we understand how exactly it can negatively impact the lives of billions of global users of the internet, we can set about creating a safer and more secure cyber world for everyone.