Cybersecurity is a serious issue, and one that needs to be taken up by everybody. It's not just a matter of some state hackers breaking into servers owned by a rival government. Cybersecurity affects you as well when a for-profit hacker goes after your credit card numbers with targeted malware. These issues didn't subside in 2012, and it's only going to get worse in 2013.
Computer security company AVG released its list of the top threats facing computer, and mobile device, users in 2013. Not surprising, the list contains a number of threats that were already at large or growing to be a major threat last year.
First up, AVG predicts that Java will continue to be the most exploited software on computers. That may just be the case as Oracle already had to deal with a major zero-day exploit last year along with other various security loopholes that hackers always seem to find before security researchers. The software's spread across over 1 billion computers ensures it will remain a desirable target.
Besides Java's vulnerabilities, the biggest threat facing users is mobile malware. Android is especially susceptible to malware as many people download malicious apps from unofficial app stores that don't properly screen their services for malware. Google Play or Amazon's Android Appstore are the safest bets for avoiding mobile malware, but no promises can be made.
Other threats include an increase in ransomware, cloud service breaches and other scary things that lawmakers and government agencies refer to when trying to push new cybersecurity laws that curb your privacy rights.
AVG's report may sound like a lot of fear mongering, but it's seemingly appropriate in an age where people are falling for obvious malware attacks all the time. People need to be more vigilant when browsing the Internet or checking email and avoid any links that look even remotely suspicious. Another handy rule of thumb is to disable Java or any other vulnerable Web plugin before visiting a site that doesn't look legitimate. You should also stop using dumb passwords, like "password."