The future of cyberattacks is notoriously hard to predict because of cybercriminals’ dedication to continually evading detection. However, because they have permeated nearly every aspect of large businesses at this point, cybercriminals will likely become increasingly efficient at distributing ransomware, casting a broader net to add small businesses and even individuals to their attack repertoire. With increased automation, cybercriminals can automatically distribute “small-dollar” attacks to personal and mobile devices while remaining profitable.
While your computer is connected to the Internet, the malware a hacker has installed on your PC quietly transmits your personal and financial information without your knowledge or consent. Or, a computer predator may pounce on the private information you unwittingly revealed. In either case, they will be able to:
- Hijack your usernames and passwords
- Steal your money and open credit card and bank accounts in your name
- Ruin your credit
- Request new account Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or additional credit cards
- Make purchases
- Add themselves or an alias that they control as an authorized user so it’s easier to use your credit
- Obtain cash advances
- Use and abuse your Social Security number
- Sell your information to other parties who will use it for illicit or illegal purposes
Predators who stalk people while online can pose a serious physical threat. Using extreme caution when agreeing to meet an online “friend” or acquaintance in person is always the best way to keep safe.
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