How Cybercriminals Can Target Members of Your Family

Know how cybercriminals can target members of your family; Modern-day technology has come a long way since the dawn of the internet age

By Larissa Lopes
Updated on July 25, 2022
How Cybercriminals Can Target Members of Your Family

Know how cybercriminals can target your family members; Modern-day technology has come a long way since the dawn of the internet age. So, the days of sending emails and waiting five minutes for a web page to load are gone. Instead, we’ve now got the world at our fingertips, and anything is possible with a laptop or smartphone.

How Cybercriminals Can Target Members of Your Family

How Cybercriminals Can Target Members of Your Family

You can run a business with a smartphone in your pocket or instant message someone on the other side of the planet. So, the reality is that technology has made our lives incredibly convenient, but many people don’t know that it can also put us in danger if we’re not careful.

Unfortunately, cybercrime is everywhere, and cybercriminals will target anyone at any time. If you’re unaware of cybercrime in 2022, you could be at serious risk of experiencing a cyberattack. Phishing is the most common cybercrime, and many people overlook the dangers they could face. But, it’s not just about damaging your laptop or losing a couple of files; cybercrime can go far beyond that. Read on to find out how cybercriminals can target your family members and how can put you in danger through cybercrime.

The Most Common Ways Cybercriminals Can Target Your Family Members

Cybercrime Tactics

So, cybercriminals will stop at nothing to get what they need. They have some key strategies to steal your information and infiltrate your device. But their goal is to do as much damage to you as they can for their gain.

The first strategy that hackers will use is to install malicious software, also known as malware, onto your device. So, malware is a dangerous form of software that cybercriminals have designed to cause damage to your device. Malware can range from viruses to spyware and even ransomware.

These different types of malware are dangerous, and each has its purpose. Some are designed to destroy your entire operating system, whereas others are used to track your online data. The last thing you want to have on your device is any form of malware, even if it is a harmless type of virus.

What is Phishing

Phishing is the most common type of cybercrime out there. There are two primary purposes to phishing, and ultimately this is the key that cybercriminals use to gain access to your devices or your accounts. Phishing has been around for many years, and it comes in different forms — which we’re going to explore fully later on.

Since the dawn of the internet era, cybercriminals have used phishing as a common tactic. The basics of phishing involve sending a fraudulent email to a victim. So, the email will urge the victim to interact with a link or an attachment in the email.

Once the victim downloads an attachment from a phishing email, they can install malware on their device. The malware is often installed in the background, which means the victim might not even know that their device is under threat.

And so, if the victim clicks on the link in the phishing email, one of two things can happen. The link can either prompt malware to install, much like clicking on the attachment; or it can take the victim to a fraudulent website. The website will be rigged with a keylogger; which can copy everything typed into the website and give it straight to the hackers. In other words, if you’re typing in your login credentials or your banking details, the cybercriminal will get hold of it.

How Has Phishing Developed

Phishing has come a very long way since the days of the famous Nigerian Prince scam that we love to laugh about. (perhaps talk about Indian IT tech support scams, too, if that is relevant? However, hackers understand that people are beginning to catch onto their tactics, so they need to refine their strategies and develop new plans to trick victims into falling for their phishing scams.

So, hackers are now using social engineering to trick their victims and create more successful phishing scams. Social engineering is when cybercriminals pose as a person; or company that the victim might know and trust, making it more likely that the victim will interact with their email.

For example, cybercriminals might send an email pretending to be your local bank. The email will be convincing because they will be using the same logos and color schemes that your bank uses. So, the email will urge you to follow a link and log into your account to update some details. So, once you click on the link, and will take you to a fake website that will keylog you; and allow the cybercriminals to steal your login credentials. You can use the same tactic to install malware such as viruses and spyware on your device.

With the development of social media, phishing doesn’t have to come from emails anymore, either. But unfortunately, this is where the risks of phishing and cybercrime also put your family at risk. So there are nearly four billion social media users, and that number is growing by the day.

Targeted phishing scams on social media

Hackers can send more targeted phishing scams on social media because most users will follow accounts they are interested in. This gives a hacker an idea of what they can do to draw your attention. For example, if you’re a big fan of a particular music band; they can create a fake competition where the winner is given tickets to see them perform live. All the victim needs to do is click on a link to participate in the contest, and can use the fake link to steal your login credentials or install malware on your device.

Phishing can even take place on your web browser too. Cybercriminals can disguise links as images and icons, and if they create fake websites, they can place these disguised links all over. So, if you accidentally click on one of these links, you could install malware on your device without your knowledge.

So, if you want to prevent falling victim to a cyberattack, you must be careful about what you’re doing online. And you should never click on links sent to you, even in your social media’s direct messages. Moreover, it’s always a good idea to invest in premium antivirus software capable of scanning a link before clicking on it. This will give you an early warning about whether a link is safe to follow or not.