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Security hygiene for the 2020s

Be more alert. Cybercrime has evolved to become an even greater threat than ever before, as it is not hard to steal someone's login details, break into their bank accounts or even hijack their identity.

This was not the case ten to fifteen years ago. Cybercrime was not as lucrative, either. Today, it's a much more dangerous situation. The UK Home Office estimates that global cybercrime is worth around $575 billion[1]. In comparison, 2017's sales among the top 100 arms companies totalled less than $400 billion[2]. The UK's estimates predate the COVID-19 pandemic, which criminals exploited and could grow cybercrime activities by triple digits.

Don't be fooled: cybercriminals pose very real threats. However, there are daily security habits that you can practice to make yourself safer in the digital space.

Trust but Validate

"Cybercriminals often focus on inconvenience and convenience," says Elad Sherf, Global Head of Cyber Defence at cybersecurity company, Performanta. "They will pose a very inconvenient problem, maybe that your bank details are expired and then they will offer a very convenient solution i.e.: click on this link to sort it out. But that link is actually going to steal those details. Criminals try to keep us on autopilot with narratives that blend with our day to day lives, that may appear urgent and trigger our fight or flight impulses. They put a lot of effort into making something feel legitimate and irresistible that requires devoted attention. The top thing we don't do for security is practice vigilance. We should be more suspicious during our daily online habits."

Cybercriminals go to great lengths to fool their targets, even phoning people to make things seem official (a tactic called social e