Cybercrime and the rules of a personal response

Image credit to Cerillion Skyline

From a report at the seminar “Media, opinion formation, human rights” (Brest, September 28, 2019)

The international experts on cybersecurity of Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that in 2019 cyber attacks occur every 14 seconds in the world. Increasing in number of cases of fraud using social engineering techniques is also expected to be totaled in the results of the current year. In 2018, Sberbank experts already noted the growth of this type of crime by 6%. In 2019, one of the main challenges must also be a leakage of corporate data resulting from targeted attacks on their employees.

According to the newspaper “Sovetskaya Belorussiya – Belarus’ Segodnya,” the number of cybercrimes is growing in Belarus. So, in 2018, 4741 cybercrime cases were recorded in the country. This is 53% more than a year ago. Fraudsters often illegally invade the electronic data exchange process, working as well-organized criminal groups.

More than two-thirds of crimes in the sphere of high technologies in the country belong to the theft through the use of computer technologies. The lion’s share of that is made via the Internet (e.g., through social network services). The question arises: How to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime?

The information coming from the Internet, related to money, should be treated seriously enough. Schemes of fraud are varied: requests for financial assistance, bogus lottery winnings with the requirement of an overhead payment before picking the grand prize up, all sorts of additional earnings, etc.

However, you should always stick to the main rules:

  • Do not write down your PIN on a credit card and do not store it in easily accessible sites. Almost 90% of thefts of money from credit cards occur due to a negligent attitude to the secrecy of the PIN code of their owners.
  • Do not transfer card details, such as its number, expiration date, name, to whom it is issued, to anyone.
  • If you pay by card in a shop/restaurant/hotel, do not let the card was lost from sight.
  • No one should know your card balance.
  • Issue a separate card for shopping on the Internet and put just the right amount for single operations on it. Also, do not try to save money up on a cart which you carry with yourself every day.
  • Be careful with credit cards to do not lose money twice in case of fraud, i.e. the personal sum stolen from the card and the credit sum as a debt to a bank.
  • Keep a bank service center number in your mobile phone to be able to quickly block the card transactions via a call.

I hope that this information will allow you to become more alert and avoid becoming a victim of Internet frauds.

Raman Khursin, a 4th-year student in the Faculty of Electronic Information Systems at Brest State Technical University, member of the Belarusian section of the ISHR