When criminals try to take over your digital life, you may feel like you are in a high-tech thriller or horror movie. He has all the elements of a heart-racing movie: high stakes, evil villains and an unwitting protagonist thrown into chaos. This short guide to five types of cybersecurity threats will help protect your digital life.

Education is one of the best ways to stay protected. It helps you prepare for the worst so that you are not swept away when hackers attack. Tap or click here for five dangerous cybersecurity mistakes you’re probably making.

Keep reading about a fun way to learn about all the worst cyber threats of 2022.

1. Identity theft

To reflect the horrors of modern digital warfare, Surfshark made five movie posters. Each one reflects the biggest threats to cybersecurity since 2022. As we break them down, try to guess which movie inspired each poster!

Take a look at this poster and see if it makes you think of famous horror movies. (We’ll tell you the answer later.) This poster is about one of the most common threats: identity theft. It affects about one in 20 Americans each year, according to Experian.

What is: Identity theft is when cybercriminals collect enough personal information to present themselves convincingly to you. They use information such as your name, date of birth, email address and anything else they can extract from social media. They can commit identity theft by opening new bank accounts, applying for loans or even requesting a tax refund in your name.

Why is it scary: Criminals can destroy your credit rating or even commit crimes on your behalf. They can take over your online accounts by changing your password. Here is a terrible scam you need to know.

How to protect yourself: Update your software and widgets with the latest patches. Use strong and unique passwords for your online accounts. Stop sharing personal information on social media.

The inspiration for the movie poster: “Dizziness”(1958), directed by Alfred Hitchcock. If you haven’t seen the movie, spoiler: James Stewart falls in love with a double. The topic of copying reminded the Surfshark team of identity theft, which allows criminals to create convincing copies that can deceive unsuspecting people.

Remember to keep your eyes up for these red flags. Otherwise, criminals may disguise themselves as you. Tap or click here for three sure signs that someone has stolen your identity.

2. Phishing is one of the most common types of cybersecurity threats

What is: Spear phishing is a trick in which criminals pretend to be someone else to reduce your vigilance. They often pretend to be your boss or a leading figure in your company, so they can manipulate you to share passwords, send money, click on malicious links and more. Spear phishing attacks use your respect for people or companies to infect your devices or steal personal information.

Why is it scary: Convincing phishing emails or text messages can persuade you to click on a link that downloads malware to your device. It’s doubly scary if you’re on a work computer: malware can spread to your company’s entire servers. This can lead to ransomware that grinds everything to a squeak.

How to protect yourself: Beware of spelling and grammatical errors, as well as any messages that give you a sense of urgency. Also, do not click on links or download attachments that you receive in unsolicited emails. Keep your software and devices up to date, use 2FA and VPN. If you receive an unusual request by email, consult with the person who allegedly sent it to make sure it is genuine.

The inspiration for the movie poster: “Exit “ (2017), directed by Jordan Peel. This film has an idyllic beginning; everything seems fine until the tension erupts into chaos. This is similar to the way you are vigilant when reading phishing emails that you never suspect.

3. Face recognition technology

This rarely occurs when considering the many types of cybersecurity threats. However, this can be a terrible threat. Here’s what we mean.

What is: Face Detection Technology is exactly what the tin can says. This is a form of biometrics – and this term refers to how we use our body to verify our identity. For example, your iPhone may need to scan your face before it is unlocked. This is an example of face recognition technology.

Why is it scary: Unfortunately, data breaches are common nowadays. If hackers reveal your password, you can change it, but you can’t change your face. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for identity thieves. Imagine if they stole photos of your face from social media and used them to access your online accounts.

How to protect yourself: If you want to avoid this, opt out of all the facial recognition options you see. Instead, use PINs, passwords, or 2FAs to verify your identity. Keep your face confidential and do not give it voluntarily to governments or organizations that may share it with partners.

The inspiration for the movie poster: “Blade Runner (1982), directed by Ridley Scott. This film is about how machines can see us in a dystopian, high-tech future.

4. Spyware

This poster refers to the Pegasus software discovery tool, which played a major role in a large-scale spy campaign last year. Cybercriminals allegedly used Pegasus spyware to harass 37 journalists, royalty and activists. Here’s how to find out if your iPhone has Pegasus software installed.

What is: Spyware hides on your devices, collecting your location, passwords, text messages, emails and credit card information. Worse, spyware can download and install more malware on your device. You will not be wiser until your gadget becomes slower and hotter than ever.

Why is it scary: Spyware violates your privacy – and you may not even know it’s on your phone, computer or tablet. It can stream you from your camera or microphone. Try this trick to find out when your phone’s camera or microphone is in use.

How to protect yourself: If you think your device has spyware, follow these three steps. First, back up your data. Second, delete your device. Third, reset it. Here are more details.

WHILE YOU’RE ON IT… Delete these nine applications that secretly steal personal data

The inspiration for the movie poster: “Blair Witch Project (1999), directed by Daniel Mirik and Eduardo Sanchez. The film’s iconic 90’s camcorder effect reminded the Surfshark team of how spyware could infiltrate your phone’s or computer’s camera and turn you into an involuntary star.

5. Denial of Service Attacks (or DDoS for Short)

We kept the best for last. (By “best” we mean “the best at being annoying.” Although there is strong competition.)

What is: This type of attack overloads the system by sending thousands of small packets of data in a short period of time. It’s easy to do: criminals simply install a computer to ping messages until they overload the site’s servers. This excludes websites.

Why is it scary: If someone overloads the server, the website will shut down. Visitors will not have access to it. This is devastating if you rely on a website for your small business.

How to protect yourself: Protect your router by changing the default passwords and updating the firmware regularly.

The inspiration for the movie poster: “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and “The World’s End” (2013), directed by Edgar Wright. The Surfshark team behind these horror movie posters thought of Wright’s protagonists, who understand the technology that would know everything about DDoS attacks.

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