There are many different types of cyber security threats. To better understand the threats and how to protect yourself from them, let’s take a look at each threat type in detail. Malware - Malware is malicious software designed to steal information or damage data. Malware can be installed on your device or sent to you via email or text message. It can even be inserted into a website you are visiting. Malware can collect sensitive information such as passwords, account information, or credit card numbers. Malware can also damage your device by deleting files or crashing your computer. Additionally, malware can be used to turn your device into a bot and be used to send spam or conduct DDoS attacks. Phishing - Phishing scams are used to trick you into providing sensitive information such as passwords, account information, or credit card numbers. Phishing scams can take many forms including emails, text messages, or pop-up ads. Phishing scams are designed to look as if they are coming from a trustworthy source such as your bank or utility company. Phishing emails are also designed to look legitimate and may even include a fake “broken-image” message to make it seem like there is a problem with the email recipient’s email account. Data Breaches - A data breach occurs when your computer, device, or network is hacked and sensitive information is stolen. While malware and phishing scams can be used to steal sensitive information, a data breach is usually caused by a mistake by the business or organization holding your information. There have been many high-profile data breaches in recent years including the Equifax breach (145 million impacted) and the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach (87 million impacted). As a result of these data breaches, large numbers of people have had their sensitive information stolen such as usernames, passwords, account information, and credit card numbers. Denial-of-Service Attacks - A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is an attempt to overload a network or device with an excessive amount of traffic. A DoS attack can be targeted toward a specific computer or network or be a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack. A DoS attack can be sent using a botnet and can be used to take down a website, server, or other devices. DoS attacks can be designed to send your computer or device a large amount of traffic so it becomes overwhelmed and unusable. DoS attacks can also be used to flood a network with a large amount of data and take it offline. Ransomware - Ransomware is malicious software that holds your information hostage. Ransomware may be installed on your device or sent to you via email or text message. Once installed on your device, ransomware can encrypt your data and ask for money to unlock the data. Ransomware can be installed on your device through a link in an email or a pop-up ad. It can also be sent to you via email disguised as a receipt or invoice. Ransomware may also be sent to you via email disguised as a notice from law enforcement or a utility company. Social Engineering - Social engineering is the manipulation of people to obtain information or perform actions they would not otherwise do. Social engineering can be used to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or downloading malicious software. Social engineers may pose as website or email administrator and request that you provide sensitive information. They may also pose as law enforcement or government officials and ask you to perform an action or send you sensitive information.