Reasons Why Your Device is Acting Strange
Computers, smartphones, and tablets have made our lives incredibly easy and convenient. Whether you’re working from home, using social media to keep up with your friends and family, or even just for entertainment throughout the day, these devices have become the go-to technology for our modern-day society.
As great as these devices are, they do have some risks that many people often overlook. You may sometimes find that your device starts acting up. It could be responding slower than before, or you may even find that files are disappearing from your device.
While there are many reasons why this might be happening, it could be caused by a cyberattack targeting your device. Cyberattacks have become much more common in recent years, and many people have fallen victim to cybercrime simply because they are not prepared.
What is a Cyberattack?
Cyberattacks are the modern form of crime — also known as cybercrime. Cybercrime has become much more common in recent years, and there’s a very good reason for that. The first reason is that more and more people are getting their own devices. Whether it’s a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, it’s rare to find someone that doesn’t have some form of technological device. The majority of people around the world have some form of device, and this number is growing day by day. The more people there are that own a device, the more chance there is of cyber criminals being able to pull off a successful cyberattack.
The other reason why cybercrime has become more common in recent years is as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused a global shutdown, with many people having to work from home. The majority of the population was not allowed to leave their homes without good reason, leaving many people stuck at home. As a result, we saw a massive spike in screen time as people began working remotely or using their devices to keep themselves entertained while being stuck at home. This increase in screen time is what caused the sudden rise in cyberattacks, as more people were exposed to phishing scams — which we’ll cover shortly. More and more people were experiencing some form of cyberattack during this time.
You might be asking what a cyber attack looks like. Cybercrime can come in many different forms, but if you’re experiencing a slow computer, you have likely encountered malicious software — known as malware for short. Malware is a type of software that has been built by cybercriminals to infiltrate your devices. Malware can come in many different forms, but the three most common forms are viruses, spyware, and ransomware, which we’ll explain in more detail below.
- Viruses: unlike their biological counterparts, computer viruses are man-made with malicious intent. The dangerous thing is that you never know what you’re dealing with. Viruses can range from harmless but annoying to downright dangerous — where they can go so far as to destroy your entire operating system.
- Spyware: spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on your device. Its main purpose is to keep track of your internet activity and your data. Not only is this a serious invasion of privacy, but it will also give cybercriminals ideas on how to target you with better phishing scams — keep this in mind for later on!
- Ransomware: the most dangerous of all malware. Ransomware can encrypt important files or accounts on your device, which means you can’t access them, or even move them at all. The only way to regain access is to pay a ransom fee to the cybercriminals, but even then, it’s up to them as to whether they want to remove the encryption or not.
How Can Malware be Installed on My Device?
You might be asking yourself how malware can get onto your device in the first place. It all comes down to an age-old scam known as phishing. You might have heard of phishing before, but it’s become much more advanced since the dawn of the internet age.
Phishing is when a cybercriminal sends their victim fraudulent emails urging them to interact with an attachment or a link in the email. However, once the victim interacts with the attachment or the link, malware can be installed on their device. Even worse, the malware can be installed in the background — meaning the victim might not know about the malware being on their device until it’s too late.
Phishing has developed significantly over the decades, far from the old Nigerian Prince scam we love to laugh about. Cybercriminals use social engineering to trick their victims these days. Social engineering is when a cybercriminal sends their email to the victim pretending to be a person or a company that they know and trust — this is where spyware can help hackers to create more targeted attacks.
Phishing is not restricted to emails though. Cybercriminals are using social media these days too. It’s arguably easier because the hacker can see what their victim is interested in. Phishing can be found all around the internet as well. Remember, fraudulent links can be hidden as icons and images on websites.
How to Protect Your Device
It might sound like the world is out to get you when you have a technological device. In a true way, you never know who you can trust, and cybercriminals will go to any lengths to get what they want.
However, there’s one cybersecurity tool that will keep you safe on the internet. All you need is premium antivirus software. The antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any viruses or other forms of malware, and if any has been detected, it can also be removed from your device.
Always make sure to choose the premium option when looking at antivirus software, and make sure to do thorough research on your choice before you make your purchase. Some of the best antivirus software will be able to scan emails, websites, and links before you click on them to check whether they are safe or not, and this feature is highly recommended.