Anyone who assumes a small business or internet-based freelance contractor will never be a target of cyber crime would be dead wrong. This false assumption is based on the notion that cyber criminals target large corporations because of the potentially huge illicit payoffs large targets promise. In actuality, such operations will already have their own cyber security divisions or their cloud computing service provider protecting them behind impressive cyber fortresses safeguarding every potential access.
It’s the small independent businessman, the freelancer, and the internet contractor who are the likeliest targets of cyber criminals. While it is true that such people cannot offer a big payoff to a cyber crime, each victim is bound to be one of hundreds of thousands of such victims hit at once by these online parasites. Thousands of small payoffs amount to one huge payoff in the aggregate. Also, these victims will be far less well protected than large corporate targets. Additionally, they are very likely not to have kept up with the latest antivirus software or may not even have such software installed on their own computers. One mass e-mailing of a ransomware virus can snag thousands of victims in one minute. Most of these poor unfortunates are also the likeliest to cave in to ransomware demands and pay to get the use of their computers back. That represents a potential payday in the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars for cyber criminals in untraceable e-currencies later to be redeemed for real money.
One thing that both small business owners and freelancers can do to protect themselves from a data vulnerability is to obtain the latest antivirus and anti-malware programs available. These can be purchased and delivered online or acquired through open-source channels. Regular monitoring of software performance can alert computer owners and business owners of attacks. These protocols also keep the user alerted to when necessary patches are available for installation or when upgrades are released. Being alerted to any news on the latest developments in antivirus software will also allow the user to know when the next version of the protection program or something better is available. This is a key common-sense measure anyone can take to protect themselves and their own precious cyber assets from attack and loss.