Know your enemies - A consumer’s guide to online threats

Know your enemies - online threats

According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 3.8 million instances of Cybercrime in the 12 months to June 2016.

In April 2017, GOV.UK highlighted that virtually all businesses covered by the Cybersecurity breaches servey 2017 were all exposed to cybersecurity risks and that all kinds of businesses continue to suffer from cybersecurity breaches with significant financial implications.

While many consumers are unfamiliar with online threats, how much do you know your enemies online? We hope that our consumer’s guide to online threats will help you identify them and keep in mind that should you venture online that you do so with caution and take basic precautions to protect yourself and your business.

Guide to online threats


Spyware is a hidden computer program that monitors your online activity and collects personal information by transmitting data secretly from your hard drive. However, it’s good to know that where internet browsers or government institutions are involved, Spyware is considered ‘legitimate’.


Malware is short for malicious software that is installed onto your computer without your consent, designed to gain unauthorized access with intent of damage and disruption. Examples of malicious software include viruses, worms and trojan horses.


A Trojan horse is a clever computer program that is designed by cyber criminals to breach the security of your PC without your knowledge. It does this my masking itself as a benign file or application to mislead you into opening ‘the backdoor’ or access to your computer system.


A worm is a self-replicating malicious computer program that sends duplicating copies of itself to spread to uninfected computers and networks.


A computer virus is a harmful computer program designed to attach itself to an existing program and interfere with its operations and spread infections that will corrupt, damage your hard drive or delete your data.


A botnet is a network of private computers that have been compromised with malicious software and controlled with unauthorised access to execute spam or other illegal activities.


Phishing is a fraudulent practice of online identity theft that impersonates reputable companies to mislead you in revealing personal information such as passwords, account data and credit card numbers.


Cyber criminals also known as black hat hackers create or use malicious computer programs on a computer and the internet to commit illegal activities, such as those mentioned above.

Tips to protect yourself and your business from online threats

  • Ensure that your computer software us always kept up-to-date with the latest security updates.
  • At a minimum, ensure that your computer is protected by a two-way firewall and anti-virus/anti-spyware software.
  • Avoid connecting to insecure or open WIFI networks.
  • If suspicious or in doubt of a link, attachment, download or other DO NOT OPEN and DELETE.
  • Always use reputable brands to retrieve or validate any suspicions that you may have.
  • Always create strong and unique passwords


Blog article information

Blog article date: 22 nd Sep 2017
Posted by SDS
Tags online threats, consumers guide, online enemies, cyber security

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