A cyberattack is a digital attack against your system. Hackers, thieves, pranksters, trolls, criminal organizations, state-sponsored agents, and spies all use cyberattacks to expose, modify, cripple, steal, blackmail, or hijack their targets.
Often, though not always, cyberattacks use malware as an arsenal. Malware is any malicious software, including viruses, worms, spyware, stalkerware, and ransomware. Malware can wipe your information, hold your data for ransom, reveal your secrets, track your movements, or steal your identity.
You can protect against malicious attacks by using advanced cybersecurity software that uses sophisticated techniques such as machine learning to recognize established and emerging malware threats. Choose a cybersecurity system that guards your computer 24/7 against malware delivery mediums such as corrupt websites and suspicious emails. To protect yourself against cyberattacks, you should also learn about the most common ones.
1. Password Attacks
As the name suggests, a password attack is an attempt to steal your password. The two most common password attack methods are brute-force attacks and dictionary attacks. A brute-force password attack simply uses countless passwords rapidly. Meanwhile, a dictionary attack is more sophisticated because it systemically uses well-known words to guess your password.
To protect yourself from either form of password attack, set a long and robust password that includes numbers, symbols, capital letters, lower-case letters, and avoid using familiar words in your password.
2. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack
This attack tries to shut down a computer or entire network, often with a sophisticated malware attack or a flood of traffic. Although a DDoS attack usually targets larger organizations, it can also target individuals. For example, someone on social media can use a DDoS attack to attack your personal website or force you offline, if they dislike what you said on Twitter. Your best shield against DDoS attacks is to use the best DDoS defense tools and a technologically advanced Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.
3. Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attack
A man-in-the-middle attack usually occurs on unsecured networks where the attacker intercepts conversations between two parties and alters the communication to commit cybercrimes. For example, the attacker will modify your messages to your friend in order to trick them into sending money for an emergency. To protect yourself against these attacks, avoid using unsecured public WiFi networks at coffee shops, airports, or shopping malls. If you must use public WiFi, then subscribe to a VPN service with good reviews to secure the network. Remember to avoid free VPNs as they’re littered with security holes too.
4. Phishing Attack
Attackers use phishing attacks to trick you into handing over your sensitive data, such as your credit card details or your login credentials. Phishing attacks use emails, messages, fraudulent websites, and malware. Arm yourself with advanced cybersecurity software and knowledge to deny criminals who use phishing attacks.
5. Drive-by-Download Attack
A drive-by-download attack is dangerous because it can quickly and quietly infect your system with malware, often without your consent or action. Usually, hackers use malicious websites, pop-up windows, and phony emails to target you with such attacks by forcing an infected download. A sound cybersecurity system can usually block such attacks.
These are five of the most common types of cyberattacks. Always have your wits about you, update your software regularly, use a firewall, good VPN, and advanced antivirus software to keep your digital defenses up.