In this tech-advanced world, even our coffee machines are connected to the internet. We love using wireless technology and cloud services. It is super convenient and fast. However, it does have its shortcomings. As the number of Canadian online users increases, hackers have more devices and access points to target people. You must be thinking your private Wi-Fi is secure and protected. But you cannot be more wrong.
Hackers can easily get around MAC filters and access your system to monitor your online traffic and activities. Due to such issues and vulnerabilities, cybersecurity is critical not only for businesses but also for individuals users in Canada.
Here are some cybersecurity threats that you should know if you are living in Canada.
1. Free public Wi-Fi is a big NO!
Free public Wi-Fi no doubt seems like an attractive option, especially when you are traveling. You can explore the web, go to social media, upload pictures, and more for free while having lunch at a cafe. However, beware as public Wi-Fi is like a pool for hackers with hundreds of targets. Hackers can access your device when you connect to public Wi-Fi and snoop on your activities.
Therefore, public Wi-Fi is a big NO in Canada. If you travel a lot, you can get a VPN to access apps and sites on public Wi-Fi securely. A VPN will encrypt your online data and set a protective cloud over you, securing your device. If you must use public Wi-Fi, you can also use one of the best free VPN for Canada with top encryption protocols so hackers cannot monitor your online activities.
2. Sending personalized emails
You must be thinking hackers only send weird emails that you can spot at a glance. However, hackers are now sending incredibly personalized emails to scam people. One such trick is called Spear Phishing, where attackers send targeted emails to you asking for personal information like bank account details. Recently, Twitter employees were targeted with a Spear phishing attack to access Twitter’s internal networks. Yes, if Twitter can get attacked, so can you.
These emails use your name and seem like they are from legitimate companies. To spot such emails, look out for incorrect URLs, a sense of urgency, and more. Unless you are 100% sure it’s a legitimate email from a company, don’t open any links in the email.
3. Snooping when you surf online
According to Giovanni Vigna, a computer science professor at UCS, there has been a growing number of cyberattacks via “drive-in-downloads.” He says, “You visit what looks like a perfectly harmless website, but in the background, you are actually being redirected to various other sites that initiate an attack.” You open a perfectly harmless website; little do you know what’s happening in the background.
What you can do is make sure to keep your browser updated, because search engines blacklist such sites. Vigna also stated that during research, Internet Explorer users are most vulnerable to such attacks. Take all the steps to protect your online identity while you are traveling to or living in Canada.
4. Your Smart devices are not secure
You must be pretty confident that your smart devices are secure from hackers. You have set up a strong password and restricted access. But, little do you know, hackers can easily access Smart devices. What hackers don’t want you to know is that a simple coffee machine or a smart light bulb can lead to a data breach.
Hackers can access these smart devices and get important information like passwords, real names, email IDs, and more. Therefore, one thing you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is to use a VPN to secure all smart devices on your network.
5. Free app versions are not safe
Most apps are not free, like streaming apps including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and more. You need to subscribe to access these sites. The same goes for games. Now, there is a good reason you should stick to the original versions because they are secure. Free versions of these apps, although tempting, contain all sorts of viruses and malware that can compromise your device’s security within seconds.
According to Vigna, you give complete access to criminals when you say yes to all app permissions, and “the next thing you know, it’s sending SMS messages and stealing your money.”
If you still want to use a free app in Canada, make sure to check its rating online and see what people are saying – but beware, hackers can fake ratings and customer reviews, so you have to be very vigilant, or just stick to paid, premium apps.
These are just some of the cybersecurity threats that Canadian netizens face in 2021, but if you keep these in mind and take preventive measures like using a VPN, you can defeat hackers and protect your privacy. VPN is just one of the tools to ensure online privacy in Canada, there are plenty of things you can do to outsmart cybercriminals, and it’s best to start from the tips mentioned above.