Today, the machines have become integral part of our lives and imagining life without them is almost impossible. But our fascination with technology to stay in touch, shop, stay updated with the news and explore the things has numerous drawbacks. Our data can bare to the cyber criminals who are involved in the credit card fraud and identity theft unless we take the required precautionary measures.

Our mounting dependence on the electronic device is part of the reason why careers in cyber security are rising with a quicker pace. A latest study report has suggested that the jobs in three fields at vanguard of cyber security – information security, computer network architecture and web development – will grow up to 22 percent between 2010 and 2012.

Having an in-depth understanding of threats can help everyone play his/her part to make those jobs smoother. So what are the top four cyber security threats and how you can protect yourself against them? Let’s discuss.

(1)    Malicious Software

The malicious software, or shortly malware, are the main culprits for virus in computer. The National Cyber Security Alliance, an organization educating the people about the internet security says that Malware also includes nuisances like spyware, which allows the cyber criminals to explore your every move and snare the passwords you are entering.

Usually the people got lured into downloading these malware accidently, when they try to download what appears to free software or by clicking on a rascal website. It can also be spread by your friends on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Perfspot.

To keep yourself and your stuff protected, avoid download ‘free software’, such as screen savers and the frisking pop-up screens claiming you have won a hefty amount through lottery and ‘Click Here’ to proceed. Furthermore, strengthen the defense of your machine by installing strong and trustworthy anti-virus software on your computer.

For the safety on social networking websites, do not open the link which your friend is asking you to open before satisfying yourself about that. Also, avoid clicking the suspicious links and McCarthy warns.

(2) Spam Email

Spam, also known as Junk email or unsolicited bulk email (UBE), is extremely harmful for the safety of your computer. Some of these email memorandums feature and attachment or link that prompts you to download a virus. Spam is also used to swindle those who are closely associated with you. Trapping you, the hacker gains the complete control of your email account and sent a message to you contacts to provide you the financial help as you are in trouble. The people who are not aware of this common fraud became their victim. To keep the customers from these illusory messages, United States had set the CAN-SPAM Act in 2003 according to which spam senders were subjected to fines up to 16,000 dollars per breach.

(3)    Hacked Accounts

The most common way the digital hackers use to steal the identity of customers and gain the control of the personal information is known as “phishing.”  In this practice, the wrongdoers make a fake email looking like issued by a legitimate organization. The email asks the recipient to submit his/her personal information such as account number or password. The information is then used in committing the monetary crimes.  So avoid exposing your personal information to any such email to keep your accounts protected.

(4)    Unprotected Wireless Networks

The unsecured wireless networks are the other reason behind the rising cyber crimes.  We convert the home wireless Internet networks to connect our televisions, PCs, laptops and smartphones for our convenience. But these networks increase the risks. The insufficient security measures provide the internet access to the cyber criminals in the locality and enable them to get the control of your computer and other gadgets.

The technology will continue to skyrocket with the passage of every moment but with that, the new cyber security threats will remain a contest reality. The increasing cyber crimes have made it imperative for the skilled individuals to intensify to fill the ever-increasing vacancies in the cyber security, and that those who opt to go in the other fields, take preventive measures to keep themselves protected from cyber criminals.