Friday, December 9, 2022

Phishing, the most reported type of technological theft in the Dominican Republic

Legend has it that with each new technology, a form of theft is born. This is how the so-called phishing arose. Perhaps that term by itself does not yield much information, although its objective is to obtain it. However, what is certain is that hundreds of Dominicans are falling into the trap. The data shows this.

According to a report from the National Cybersecurity Center (CNCS), data theft is not only one of the most reported complaints in 2021, but also the one in which citizens continue to fall more through false emails that invite them to provide them. That’s what phishing is all about.

It is a technique that consists of sending electronic messages by cybercriminals to a user pretending to be a legitimate entity. That is, a bank, a public institution, etc. The goal is clear: steal private information, charge you financially, or infect your device.

How many have not received an email from a financial institution that in the end seems strange to them? That’s how it works.

According to the National Cybersecurity Center, during 2021 they attended 177 incidents of a technological nature. Information theft predominated with 63 cases. These crimes were carried out through social engineering, as phishing or spear phishing is also known.

It may seem little. But those are the reported ones of the more than 2.2 billion attempted cyberattacks in 2021 that the country suffered, according to Fortinet data. That is, probably not all incidents are reported to the relevant authorities.

People as such are not the only ones affected by cyber attacks. State institutions are often the focus of attacks. According to the 2021 report, during that year not only new malware variants were detected compared to the previous year (2020). The Government was particularly affected by these attacks.

According to the report, at least 50 State domains were affected and the number of accounts quadrupled. They indicate that the number rose to 464 and the figures are still “alarming”.

In 2021, 1.3 million malicious traffic events were blocked on government web portals through the cyber-protection service of the National Cybersecurity Center.

Protect yourself from phishing

The tips to avoid falling for phishing are simple, but by no means insignificant:

  • Do not respond to emails requesting personal or financial information. In the event that the message invites you to access a website through a link included in its content, it must be ignored and deleted.

In case you are curious or concerned about the information, it is recommended to contact the entity directly through the known telephone number and provided through reliable means, such as your latest account statement. Another alternative is to enter the official website of the organization.

  • Do not access from public places.

To the extent possible, avoid accessing a financial institution’s website from public connections. That is, free internet or wifi.

  • Review bank and credit card statements as soon as you receive them.

If you detect unauthorized charges or operations, you must notify the financial institution immediately. Also contact her if there is an unusual delay in receiving the abstract.

  • Do not download or open files from untrusted sources.

Some files may contain viruses or malicious software that could allow an attacker to access your computer and therefore any information you store or enter on it.

The most important thing is to always be vigilant to prevent improper access to your personal information. New cheating strategies appear every day. Distrust and the care with which you analyze the websites in which identity data is entered are the best protection.

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