5 Cybersecurity Threats That You Should Know About

5 Cybersecurity Threats That You Should Know About

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and experts say they will only get worse. In 2023, global data breaches had significantly increased by 72% since 2022, and are expected to cost the global economy $10.5 trillion by 2025. Cybercrime has become more sophisticated, and trickier to avoid thanks to the rapid advancement of technology and how easy it is for scammers to get their hands on it.

For this reason, it’s important to be aware of what cyber security threats are popular right now. Over COVID, we saw an immense rise in text-based scams and fake online shopping stores scamming people out of their private and financial information. Now, with the introduction of AI, we’re seeing deepfakes impersonate people’s voice and face to trick people into handing over large sums of money.

Here are the biggest online threats to you right now and how to protect yourself against them.


Phishing scams are a way for malicious individuals to trick you into giving them personal information, and remain one of the most effective and prominent forms of online attacks to this day. This can be your logins, credit card information or passwords to other websites and can result in a loss of files and money, or identity theft. Just last year, it was reported that Australians lost 2.7 billion dollars due to malicious phishing attacks.

Phishing attacks can come in the form of email or mobile links that trick you into handing over personal information. In the past, these would have been limited to emails or over-the-phone trickery. In recent years, scammers have been utilising mobile phishing by sending malicious links demanding you pay an outstanding debt.

E-commerce shopping scams

We’re in a great era of online shopping. Not only is it easier to discover great deals and products online, but it’s also easier to start a store and earn income. But this means more opportunities for scammers to set up fake websites designed to trick you into handing over sensitive information.

Scammers may set up fake websites designed to look like established, genuine retailers. These sites can look authentic due to the scammers copying designs, layouts and logos to trick unsuspecting customers. They may offer items from popular brands at low prices and (surprisingly) might send fake replications of said items. However most times, users won’t receive anything at all.

Thankfully there are plenty of ways you can get around these phishing scams and protect yourself. With any online purchase, be sure to check the website or the sender of an email to make sure it’s not a scam/phishing. Be aware of what information the website is asking you to share. On top of all of this, consider using a dedicated email address to reduce the amount of spam emails that get sent to your email. Using a dedicated email address only for online shopping will help limit the amount of spam messages you receive, and protect your other accounts. You can also consider shopping with a VPN which protects you by encrypting your data, making it harder for hackers to track you.


Ransomware is a common and dangerous type of malware. It works by locking up or encrypting your files so you can no longer access them. After locking your files, the scammers will demand a ransom, most commonly in cryptocurrency, to restore access to the files.

These are usually installed by visiting unsafe or suspicious websites that may automatically download a file. You could also accidentally install ransomware by clicking on malicious links through email or social media.

The best way to protect yourself from ransomware is to make sure you never install it in the first place. Make sure you have a solid antivirus to protect you while browsing online to protect you from accidentally entering suspicious websites.

If you do accidentally install ransomware and are being asked to pay a ransom to unlock certain files, you mustn’t pay the ransom and contact 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371) for assistance.

Mobile device vulnerabilities

Ten years ago, phones were believed to be safer against malware attacks compared to computers. Now, scammers have found ways to work around it.

Phishing attacks are incredibly common for mobile users. The most popular kind of mobile scam is “Smishing“, which is a phishing attack carried out through text messaging.

Smishing scams pose as trusted individuals and organisations and will send you a somewhat legitimate-looking text to trick you into opening the link. Sometimes these links might have legitimate-looking websites that ask you to enter sensitive information like your credit card or email. The cybercriminals can then take this to steal your identity or money.

Another kind of mobile device vulnerability is called “Quishing” which is a form of phishing attack that uses QR codes instead of text-based links in emails, digital platforms or physical items.

To protect yourself and your mobile, it’s important that you don’t shop online unless you’re on a trusted secure network (not public Wi-Fi). Phishing attacks usually demand some action immediately. Do not respond to these messages, instead, check your email and double-check the phone number by searching it online to see if someone has reported it in the past.


Cryptomining is a type of malware installed onto your computer that sucks up its processing power to solve complex mathematical problems and verify cybercurreny transactions. The miners then earn a small amount of cybercurrency as a result.

This kind of malware can be installed by downloading untrusted attachments from an email. But they can also hide on genuine or fake websites, or pretend to be a different application. For example, in 2018, cryptocurrency miners infected Google’s ad network with malware and installed cryptomining software onto the computers of those who looked at the ads on YouTube.

The best way to protect yourself from cryptomining malware is to have a strong anti-virus installed on your computer and to regularly scan for viruses. You can also install browser add-ons to block malicious activity.

Staying protected

Technology moves fast and so do scammers. Your online security should be vital.

If you’re looking to protect yourself on the internet from malware and scams, it’s worth considering Norton 360 Deluxe. The package is an all-in-one suite designed with multiple layers of security to help keep your mobile and desktop devices virus-free, protect your data, and browse the internet more securely.

Not only do you get advanced security with Norton anti-virus, which will help safeguard your devices from existing and emerging malware threats, but the software is designed to help protect your financial information when you go online. That means it’ll be harder for fake e-commerce websites to trick you into handing over financial information or accidentally download cryptomining software, as Norton will help flag those sites for you to make you immediately sceptical.

Additionally, Norton 360 Deluxe offers SMS Security, which alerts Android users when a text message may contain a potential phishing scam. On iOS, SMS Security filters spam SMS text messages that may contain phishing attacks as junk or as sent by an unknown sender depending on the iOS. (Note: SMS Security does not support iOS iMessages).

The suite also offers 50 GB of cloud backup for Windows PCs, where you can store important files and documents as a preventative measure against data loss due to hard drive failures, stolen devices and ransomware.

Be sure to stay up to date on what malware and scams are going around and have solid cybersecurity software like Norton 360 Deluxe to help you browse with less worry.

Image Credit: Mr. Robot

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.