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The 3 biggest security threats of 2016


Time moves on and brings security threats and vulnerabilities in different aspects of life. Its hard to look tech news without seeing any kind of reports against viruses, Spam Emails, ATM skimmers, Trojans, data breaches, Botnets, remote hacking, ransomware and of course plenty of most other threats to your money and information.

If we look at the survey, more than 750,000 computers were infected with ransomware, with a steady increase every quarter.

1. Data breaches

As you probably know, this threat isn’t a new one. Unfortunately, everybody is aware of this threat after a massive Target breach at the end of 2013, which exposed information on up to 110 million customers. However, the nature of this threat is going to be shifting in 2016.

This threat comes into existence when hackers wipe the security hindrance and steal payment information. The hackers attacked hotels that contains Hilton, Starwood and breached their data accounts. However, the retailers switched to point-of-sale terminals that operates with EMV chips in the latest credit and debit cards, and beside people started using mobile payment systems, so now hackers are gonna move to easier targets.

Medical data breach is one of the big worry for 2016. As discovered more than 100 million patient records were exposed, and exploited using different means with the majority coming from the Anthem Insurance hacked earlier in the year 2015. That trend is going to continue as hospitals, insurance providers and other medical services struggle to get a handle on digital security. Hackers started selling medical records for their means on black market. Hackers are making these kind of threats just because of money.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware isn’t a new thing, its same like data breaches. It’s a been a big security threat after a virus called CryptoLocker that arrived at the end of 2013. It’s getting worse every year because hacker can now get it free and would be easily modified as creatively they want to.

Probably you may know, rasnsomware encrypts your personal files and you won’t be able to open it. The only way to get them back is to pay a ransom. The most funniest part to know is even the FBI is advising the victims to pay ransom if they want their files safely back.

You have to know that ransomware isn’t just a worry for individual computers. Ransomware can lock personal files on a network and this infection can cause a company to be closed just because the people of the organization are left with their files.

Now the question arises how you can escape from ransomware ?

Fortunately, it isn’t all doom and gloom. This viral piece of virus still needs your help in installation.

If you have the basic knowledge about cloud computing and know the differentiation between real and fake phishing emails with malicious links, you can keep ransomware off your machine.

Moreover, on the other side you can make a backup of your computer files regularly. So if unfortunately your files do get locked you can wipe your drive and restore your backup files.

You can also take the precaution of backing up your computer files regularly. That way, if your files do get locked, you can wipe your drive and restore your files.

3. Browser plug-ins

Survey discovered that Britain’s Ofcom recently found that adults spend an average of 20 hours a week online, and most of that time is spent in a Web browser. So it’s no more surprise for people that where hackers are focusing their efforts. If hackers can find a flaw in your browser, then they just need you to visit a malicious website to slip a virus on to your system.

In 2015 hacker targeted a number of browser weaknesses. Adobe Flash or Adobe Animate were the key places and flaws that hackers used to send malicious code to users. Firefox even blocked Flash for a specified time in July to keep safety for the people. To keep in mind many online ads use Flash and even legitimate sites could infect a computer if hackers got an ad network control to run their malicious ad.

While companies are quickly moving away from Flash/Animate, Facebook for example just switched its video player to HTML5, Flash/Animate isn’t going anywhere for a while.


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About Kamran Mohsin

Kamran Mohsin
I'm a software engineer by profession, a passionate and experienced web designer, developer and blogger. I use to work with programming languages on daily basis and works to get something new into my knowledge prior to what I had before. I write blogs about information security, WordPress, various ways to make money and more.

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