8 Ways Residents Can Protect Themselves from Cybercrimes 

The last half-decade has witnessed a colossal rise in Cybercrimes across the globe. Right from a Fortune 500 organization to a small-scale business to a consumer, everyone has faced the brunt of cybercrime in some way or another. This has not only cost the companies a fortune in terms of financial losses but has also put their brand value and reputation in jeopardy.  

As per the latest studies conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures, Cybercrimes are predicted to cost the world US $8 trillion in 2023. If it were measured as a country, then cybercrime would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China.  The studies also predict that global cybercrime costs to grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from US $3 trillion in 2015

Common Cyber Crimes Residents Must be Beware of 

The realm of cybercrime encompasses tactics such as phishing, business email compromise, and other cyber-attacks wherein criminals adopt disguises to access sensitive information. This digital extension of traditional crime targets personal financial data, often involving high levels of sophistication by individual or organized cyber criminals. Techniques employed are varied; some operate phishing scams to cast wide nets, relying on volume, while others focus on high-net-worth individuals, investing substantial time in profiling targets based on public and private data. This entails using hacked credit information, property records, and social media details to orchestrate asset theft. 

A recurring pattern involves sending deceptive emails containing links or attachments that, when engaged, infect the victim’s computer with malware. This malware can be exploited to pilfer login credentials or control the victim’s computer remotely, allowing unauthorized entry to financial accounts for profile changes or fund transfers.

How Can Residents Mitigate the Cybercrime Risk?

Cybercrimes have witnessed a substantial increase across the built environment in the last decade. They have adversely impacted the lives of every real estate stakeholder. Thus, it is pivotal to remember these 8 points to avoid falling prey to cybercrimes.

1. Use a VPN with a Strong encryption password

Starting with a robust encryption password and a virtual private network (VPN) is crucial for online security. A VPN encrypts your device’s traffic and safeguards it from cybercriminals. Even if they breach your connection, only encrypted data would be intercepted. It is always advisable to use a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks to ensure protection while browsing.

Your online security is paramount. We recommend never sharing your passwords as Kaizen AMS will never request this sensitive information. Always check the sender’s email address, which should only come from kaizenams.com. If you receive emails about new accounts or bank details, contact 800-KAIZEN or community@kaizenams.com for verification. It is pivotal to stay vigilant and protect your personal information.

2. Allocate a Dedicated Device for Financial Transactions

To prevent any cybercrime related to financial transactions, residents must assign a dedicated device solely for the purpose of financial transactions (i.e., rent payments, service charges, payment of DEWA bills, and other invoices) to minimize the exposure to malware and breaches.

3. Avoid Phishing

The report by Deloitte reveals that 91% of all attacks begin with a phishing email to an unsuspecting victim. On top of that, 32% of all successful breaches involve the use of phishing techniques. Residents must refrain from accessing financial or e-commerce sites through email links. Instead, they must use saved links and confirm secure connections starting with https. to verify the requests for money transfers by phone.

4. Social Engineering 

It is of paramount importance to secure personal and private information, as cybercriminals can trace data points through social engineering. Residents must limit sharing private and confidential information like their mother’s maiden name or pet name on social media as this could expose answers to common security questions. 

Social threats contributed to almost a third of confirmed data breaches, primarily through phishing (92% of social-related attacks). Attackers use deceptive emails with malicious attachments or links to access sensitive data, like banking credentials and trade secrets. Vigilance is key to preventing such breaches and safeguarding critical information from spear phishing and related tactics.

5. Installing Security Software on Smartphones

With the proliferation of sensitive data stored on mobile devices and the growing trend of using them for tasks like online banking, the occurrence of new mobile malware variants has surged exponentially in the last few years. However, users continue to overlook safeguarding their devices against these threats. It is crucial to equip mobile devices with security software offered by reputable providers, regularly updating this software. This proactive approach is imperative to counter the rising risk of mobile malware and ensure the protection of sensitive activities conducted on these devices, such as – online banking.

6. Create Distinctive User IDs and Activate 2FA

Residents must create distinct user IDs, and passwords, and activate two-factor authentication (2FA) uniquely for each online portal they access to add a layer of protection against potential breaches. This multi-tiered strategy will significantly bolster the defence mechanisms against various forms of cyberattacks. This additional security layer also enhances the level of safeguarding, elevating the overall security posture and deterring unauthorized access.

7. Regularly Updating the Systems

Residents must regularly update the devices and software to evaluate and address any vulnerabilities. They must set up regular updates and download legit antivirus software. Furthermore, residents must back up data frequently to thwart ransomware attacks.

8. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Residents should establish secure home Wi-Fi networks and must steer clear of public Wi-Fi networks due to potential vulnerabilities. Public Wi-Fi networks often lack encryption and can expose your data to malicious actors. When travelling, it is prudent to opt for a paid hotspot provider to maintain secure access. By implementing robust security measures for your home network, residents can create a shield against unauthorized access and potential breaches. Public Wi-Fi networks often lack encryption and can expose your data to malicious actors.