There are plenty of people who don't believe the statistics when they tell you that crimes against the people are falling.
In actual fact, it is true, but it doesn't give the full picture. For a start, part of the reason people have a hard time believing it is the way crime is now reported. TV news has taken on a more dramatic way of reporting things, which amps up fear.
But the second reason? That has to do with tech.
You see, someone doesn't need to grab your bag or your wallet to take all your money these days. A person with ill intent does not need to skulk in dark streets with a weapon now. Why risk arrest, hypothermia, and vigilantism to make a quick buck, when there are safer and easier ways to ruin someone's life?
Of course, I'm talking about cyber crime. While muggings and armed robberies may be on the way down, online theft is on the way up. 2016 has seen the biggest rise in this area in a decade. While we all have ideas on how to avoid being physically robbed, we are relative novices in protecting data.
How Bad Has IS It?
Cyber crime is a term that didn't even cross the mind of a lot of people until pretty recently. Then it landed right in the middle of the most watched Presidential campaign in most of our living memories. The Democratic party has been the subject of persistent hacking. This has been blamed on Russian state actors, but it puts the spotlight on a key question. If a national body with billions of dollars is vulnerable, how safe are you?
Well, How Safe Am I?
Breathe. While you can never be too safe online, there is naturally more to gain from hacking corporations and public bodies. The level of work it takes to put that kind of attack in place means it's not likely to be directed at small businesses. National newspapers, global commerce sites and social networks like Twitter are more usual targets. But that doesn't mean you won't be a target.
Will i Become a victim?
State-backed and ideological hackers are more dedicated. They put hours and ingenuity into hurting specific targets. There are other hackers around, though, and they are more opportunistic. So you're more likely to be hit if you have an obvious weakness. To make that less likely, custom-built network security solutions are always a good idea. They pay for themselves in peace of mind and data security.
Does That Mean I'm Immune?
For every lock ever invented, there have been people working on how to pick them. Online security is no different. Because hackers keep working on ways to break through security, we have to keep our defenses up to date. So don't put in place a solution and think you're safe forever. Run regular checks on your defenses and have more than one method of encryption in place.
It may be years before we can say with cyber crime, as we do with street crime these days, that things are getting better. So as you have done up to now with personal security, it's time to take your own steps. Keep your data safe - it just takes one incautious moment to bring about a disaster.
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