5 Cyberthreats That You Should be Aware of in 2021



We are all aware that tech advances at breakneck speed. Along with all the benefits this development brings, it also opens up new avenues for fraud and crime.

From time to time, we are exposed to news about massive data breaches in major corporations and government agencies which threaten thousands and, in extreme cases, millions of users.


Still, we rarely hear about data breaches in smaller companies with less robust security, let alone breaches in individuals’ personal data outside of a business environment. These cases are naturally more numerous, as it’s far easier to overcome security or defraud a person through emails or chats.

Let’s take a look at the list of most trendy approaches cybercriminals are using these days.


Synthetic Identities

Fake identities have been around long before the Internet was even an idea, but these days there are more complex approaches to faking you are someone or something else online. The idea behind synthetic identities is to base the whole thing on real information – in part.


Scammers might base a synthetic identity a real address, but the personal information they provide and documentation could be completely fake. This way, their fake identity is grounded in reality. You can find a lot of scammers out there using real addresses in the US to legitimize their “business” so they can trick people.

If you Google a suspected address, though, you’ll probably find that it’s an address of a storage facility or something similar on the outskirts of a major city.


Social Media and Disinformation

Fake news might not be a cyberthreat, but it can do quite a bit of damage. We’ve seen various cases of fake news abuse this year involving major scandals, politicians, and even presidential campaigns.


Furthermore, fake news websites tend to prey on those who are not completely “literate” in internet culture and tech. Thus, websites that sell ad space, pop-up ads, and other marketing services prey on these people, many of whom are senior citizens who believe that online news undergoes the same fact-checking as more traditional news services.


This can lead to people being taken advantage of in various ways – the most innocent of which is using the traffic of duped users to make money.


Cyberattacks on Vehicles


Cars have also gone digital, and they now suffer from the same security issues as other digital devices.


The more your car uses digital resources, the bigger the security threat it may pose. So far, hackers have managed to figure out the current location of vehicles, their travel log, extract the owner’s personal information, and even disable the vehicle’s safety functions. Keep this in mind if you have a modern smart car.


Data Privacy


We all browse the web daily and, on occasion, visit a website we haven’t used before. The same goes for apps, online games, and other online resources. We all know that “I agree” moment, which we routinely go through, but the question is, “What did you just agree to?” After all, we can’t be expected to read the bible-sized legal document for every faceswap app we use, right?


Still, legal mechanisms are in place to make online businesses transparent about what data they harvest and how they use it.


Keep an eye out for a button during the process of data privacy policy acceptance as most now have additional details and options to exclude you from being spammed with ads and giving away more information about yourself unnecessarily.


Deepfakes


Deepfakes are a next-level digital crime. It is now possible to digitally imitate faces and voices with so-called “deepfake technology”. Here are some deepfake video examples that show you how far this technology has come.


This opens up a lot of new possibilities for identity theft and manipulation with malicious intent. Furthermore, this tech can be used to create scandals and rumors about somebody, even destroying a person’s reputation. We’ve yet to see how far this can be taken but expect to hear some juicy news about deepfakes down the road.

As you can see, technology is barreling forward, and with it, cybercrime is evolving too. We hope this article has put some things into perspective and will help you keep yourself safe in the future.

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Orange County | CA | USA | © 2020 CYBERWISE / CYBER CIVICS LLC