Cybercrime is evolving with AI. Here’s how to protect yourself.
AI advancements, particularly generative AI, are assisting hackers in upping their game. Advanced algorithms make it easier and faster for fraudsters to harvest personally identifiable information from social media profiles and other websites for use in attempted breaches and scams.
Deepfakes are computer-generated audio and video that fraudsters might employ to spread fraudulent situations.
In a cyberattack, AI may also exponentially accelerate the process of checking potential passwords. Errors in grammar, spelling, and style have previously assisted many consumers — and spam filters — in detecting suspicious emails and messages, but software like ChatGPT can help crooks craft immaculate language for phishing endeavours.
Social engineering scams, like the call my mother received, are also getting more effective thanks to AI. These are schemes that trick people into voluntarily parting with their money based on a fake story, such as pretending a family member has been kidnapped or your boss needs you to wire funds.
Social engineering scams, such as the one my mother received, are also becoming more effective as a result of AI. These are schemes that deceive individuals into voluntarily parting with their money by fabricating a story, such as claiming a family member has been kidnapped or that your boss requires you to wire payments.
Fraudsters can utilise AI to create computer-generated audio and videos known as deepfakes to spread fraudulent scenarios in addition to delivering more convincing emails. Trained on online clips of someone’s voice and likeness, they can look and sound exactly like individuals you know. Deepfakes of pornographic or humiliating content can also be used in cyberbullying or extortion operations. With the powerful capabilities of AI, even the savviest consumers may be at greater risk of falling prey to cyber fraud.
How to Protect Yourself
Despite the growing threat, there are things you can do to protect yourself against cybercrime:
1. Slow down: Scammers frequently feed on visceral feelings of fear, bewilderment, or a desire to help by instilling a sense of haste. We all have hectic schedules and receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails and SMS per day. Regardless of these circumstances, the greatest thing you can do when confronted with an odd request is to slow down. Allow yourself time to exercise common sense and hunt for facts that could lead you to the fraudsters.
Even if the text of an email or message appears to be genuine, double-check the email address or phone number. If you receive a message claiming to be from your bank, phone them to confirm. Also, if someone reports a family member is in jeopardy, check with your relative first. Taking the time to do your research goes a long way.
2. Strengthen your passwords: We all know that strong passwords are crucial, yet many people still prefer convenience above security. Check that your passwords do not include anything obvious, such as your birthday or the name of your pet, and that you are not recycling passwords across sites. If you have difficulty remembering logins, consider a password manager that can generate strong passwords for you. Make it a habit to change your passwords at least every few months. And, whenever possible, use multi-factor authentication, such as obtaining a code through text message. Password security is an important safety for your personal information.
3. Harness the power of artificial intelligence: Advances in artificial intelligence can make you more exposed to cybercrime, but they can also help you fight back. We’re still in the early stages, but AI could assist improve the effectiveness of existing defences like spam filters, anti-virus software, and virtual private networks (VPNs). AI might potentially improve multi-factor authentication and make it easier to generate strong passwords. Companies are also creating artificial intelligence-powered solutions to detect phishing emails and suspicious behaviour on accounts across households and devices. And AI will very certainly be crucial in detecting AI-generated spoofs and deepfakes.
4. Avoid liability: Many people believe their financial institutions will reimburse them for losses caused by cybercrime, but those safeguards are limited. They normally do not apply, for example, when users send money voluntarily, when your computer is affected with malware or ransomware, or when you conduct transactions via a different media.
If you are the victim of a cyberattack, a personal cyberinsurance policy can assist safeguard you. First, review your insurance portfolio to see if you already have coverage through homeowner’s insurance or another policy, or if you can add an endorsement to those policies.
If not, seek for a cyber policy that includes coverage for identity theft, data breaches, ransomware attacks, social engineering schemes, and expenses linked to cyberbullying or breach of privacy, such as psychiatric care, relocation, public relations consultants, and attorneys’ fees. These policies aren’t only for the wealthy; as schemes become more complex, anyone is vulnerable. Remember that, as devices become more interconnected, you are just as vulnerable as the least tech-savvy member of your home.