Macintosh is always considered to be robust and failsafe against virus and malware attack. Apple continuously upgrades its operating system with this view in mind. There has been more frequent upgrade to the Mac OS X as we can witness in the recent times. News is that Mac OS X 10.10 is on the cards. However, a constant and more frequent question that comes posing directly is whether Mac OS X is completely equipped for the modern day cyber crime and threat protection and whether the more frequent upgrade are targeted to address the variety of latest threats that is causing data loss on Mac.
Cyber Crime & Data Loss
Well, you might be thinking of how cyber crime is causing data loss on your Mac. Technology is evolving and it brings in both good and bad. Our robust Mac even at times compromised and data is at stake as the virus and malware eat them up silently. At times, the operating system gets affected to such an extent that the only way left is to reinstall the OS afresh.
So, what are the consequences of cyber crimes in terms of data loss?
- Data is lost directly
- Operating system gets corrupt (computer becomes inaccessible)
- Drive is reinstalled (data is lost - Needs specialized data recovery software)
Cyber security has always been a prime concern for everyone connected to the World Wide Web. Frauds, Threats, Cyber terrorism, Cyber warfare, Harassment, Drug trafficking, and Obscene or offensive content - all have come under the purview of cyber crime. It affects people at all walk of life – individuals, companies, government, and institutions. If we estimate in terms of money, in US alone, cyber crime cost about $100 billion annually. Your social networking accounts, such as the ‘facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘Linkedin’ are not secured anymore. In spite of several levels of security checks, bank accounts are being hacked online.
Prime Cause of Cyber Crime
Everyone is aware of the infamous ‘Snowden’ case, the ongoing investigation of which has recently revealed one prime cause of cyber crime. Mainly use of cheap and incompetent security software is the prime cause for which a cyber crime occurs. Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses use syntactic or semantic forms to attack. We all do secure our computers, servers with firewalls, anti-virus. Organizations even take several steps of security measures to protect their computer network. In spite of that, you might be wandering how a computer crime in the form of cyber attack happens. Well, unknowingly, or by default we leave certain open ends in the system, network, or even the software that becomes a potential target for the attackers. They work upon it and intrude in to the security sphere.
History that Has Witnessed Computer Crime
Such crimes can disturb an individual as well as potentially destroy the economy of an entire nation. If we cite documented cases of cyber crimes, there are many. Here are few of them, which you have heard about.
- April 23’ 2013 - A hoax tweet was released from The Associated Press’ Twitter account about fictional attacks in the White House after being hacked that resulted in an interim sink of 130 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average and removal of $136 billion from S&P 500 index. In addition, Associated Press’ Twitter account was suspended temporarily to avoid any further damage.
- December 2012 – Almost 70 million customers and 8.5 million active viewers account of Wells Fargo website were compromised due to a denial of service attack. Bank of America, U.S. Bank, PNC Financial Services, and J. P. Morgan, were among the others to be affected.
- June 2012 – 65 million passwords LinkedIn users were compromised and 1.5 million EHarmony passwords were posted online
- January 2012 – The personal information, credit card numbers, and billing and shipping addresses of about 24 million Zappos.com customers had been compromised.
Cyber crime is not a recent phenomenon; incidents are being documented in the early 70’s of the past century even, when the use of Internet, software, and today’s high-end hardware was almost an alien thing. Here are few of them.
- 1970 – The chief teller at the Park Avenue branch of New York’s Union Dime Savings Bank committed a fraud of more than $1.5 million from hundreds of accounts from 1970 over the next three years. This was one of the highest profiled banking frauds in the history of computer crimes.
- 1983 – A nineteen-year-old student from University of California, Los Angeles broke into the international communications system of Defense of Department using his personal computer.
Cyber crime is rising, which has certainly forced the authorities to take actions that are more stringent and bring in strict rules and regulations. Capital punishment and imprisonment are sentenced to the accused, if found guilty. Still, there are cases of cyber crimes occurring. So, an obvious question that comes is whether there is a permanent end to cyber crime. Perhaps, the answer is negative. However, the effect can be minimized. By using good quality, proficient security software and by keeping eye on suspicious activities, you can certainly check frauds.
Whether you are a Mac or a Windows user, you can no longer completely relax against cyber crime. Time is very sensitive. It is better to be alert and be prepared proactively. Do some ground-works yourself.
- Install very good antivirus software.
- Keep a vigilant eye on suspicious activities, such as unknown file transfer; download etc. in your computer.
- Share your identity online judiciously.
- Be careful while sharing on social media platforms.
- Keep on changing the passwords on regular intervals with good security strengths.
- Do not fall prey of unscrupulous emails lurking you about huge lottery/charity money etc.
- Immediately inform the cyber crime cell of your city/state, as soon as you notice something irregular or suspicious activities online.
What About You:
Have you or any of your friends or family ever encountered any case of cyber crime?
How have you prepare for it?
What new steps do you take to protect your online identity?
Do share your ideas and views with us. Let us help each other to make the world a better place to live in, as far as possible…