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Cybercriminals are targeting our Children

As we face the pressure of the current pandemic, let us not forget to protect our loved ones from cybercriminals. In today's world, cybercriminals prey on the most vulnerable, who frequently are our children. This article will cover some tips that we can all use to protect our children.

One of the most common exploits that cybercriminals use are malicious links. Children tend to be unaware of the dangers of clicking suspicious and shortened URLs. The dangers of clicking shortened URLs are that they tend to hide the execution query (the attack) from the naked eye. You may ask yourself how?

Cybercriminals know children are more curious and seek to exploit their curiosity by enticing them to click suspicious links. They may do this by hiding links in images appealing to children, such as their favourite cartoon character(s). When clicked, the attack query (payload) begins execution. Based on the attacker's intentions, some attacks can include attaching a new toolbar to your browser (browser hook), among others. A hooked browser enables attackers to perform social engineering techniques such as phishing on their victims. A well-crafted phishing attack from a browser hook could direct the victim to a fake site that looks identical to a trusted one to solicit user credentials.

In 2016, Jamaica faced one of the most intriguing cyber-attacks. This attack saw hundreds of people losing a massive amount of money from their bank accounts. How did this happen? Well, the attackers first sent random emails to all their victims, making it seem as if the bank was running a promotion. Once a victim opened the email, there was a link in the email to follow. When clicked, an Adobe file (an executable file that presented itself as a PDF document) was downloaded onto the victim's device. This adobe file was a bot (a malware instructed to perform malicious tasks). After the victim clicked the file, it gave a fake message stating something went wrong. This message was harmless to the victim, but the bot would send recordings such as keystrokes from the victim's device and screenshots of the victim's monitor to the attackers.

Children are easy targets for similarly executed attack, as they are not aware of the dangers of downloading files from unknown sources. Cybercriminals know that we are sharing devices with our children a lot more than ever before thanks to things like homeschooling or working from home. As a result, they are using this knowledge as an opportunity to target us as business professionals through our children.

Here are some guidelines which we should educate our young ones about relating to the dangers they may face. These are summarized below:

Do not click on unknown links.

Do not click on images from unknown sites.

Do not download any files from unknown sites.

Ensure that the URL is a legitimate URL before entering your credentials and check for the correct spelling in the URL

Do not store user credentials in your browser.

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