The internet is a play ground for hackers, snoops and federal agencies for many years, and in this crossfire, you’re the one who’ll get the bullet.

In less dramatic terms, your online identity and information is being targeted and traded to mint money. High-tech companies, like Microsoft, Apple and Google are allegedly involved in selling your information to third parties.

1. Threats to Cloud Data Security

On August 31, 2014, the internet community lost faith in cloud data security. The iCloud servers were hacked, and the personal data of countless celebrities was put up on display for the online community to view.

According to Russ Dietz, CEO of a US based Information security company, SafeNet:

“For most enterprises and consumer today, mobile and cloud security are viewed in a pretty straightforward way – don’t assume there is any”

2. The Disadvantage of “Checking In”

Do you remember the last-time you checked-in somewhere on your Facebook? Was it Chipotle or Wendy’s? Did you know that whenever you share your location online, federal agencies, hackers and stalkers can get a hold of that information? For example, according to ‘The Washington Post’, these maps explain exactly how information is retained by the NSA in full details:

5 Online Threats to Look Out For In 2016


You can see how every corner of the United States is covered by the cell-phone coverage. As these cell-towers are daisy chained with each other, every movement of the particular cellular device is tracked, thus revealing the location of the person accompanying it.

3. Evolving Malware

Malware is software or a coding designed to tamper with a computer system mainly to fetch personal data and confidential information existing within it. According to an article published by the ‘Daily Mail’ on 8th Feb, 2016, there is a new malware in town that’s causing havoc all across the internet. It’s called “T9000” and is complicated as its cyborg name.

The T9000 manages to record your Skype calls, steal your data from any removable/built-in disk and stay invisible to the eyes of anti-malware clients. The originator of this monstrosity pre-configured every attribute that this dangerous malware holds, so everything is done spontaneously and under the nose.

4. Smartphone Vulnerabilities

Smart Phones are the future. Unfortunately, both of the two most popular and prevalent smart phone operating systems (i.e. Android and iOS), seem to be growing increasingly vulnerable to security, privacy and data threats.

Recently, one of the most popular Android smartphone manufacturers, HTC, failed to ensure software security in almost 80% of their smart-phones. Forbes confirmed that the leak lead to many users’ confidential and personal data being leaked.

In addition, online news sources such as The Verge, CNNMoney and Forbes confirmed that a battle is currently raging between Apple and the FBI. Periodic headlines had already given iPhone users reason to suspect that Apple’s iPhone is an information farm for the NSA. Edward Snowden substantiated the allegation in one of his leaks, revealing a confidential chart of NSA’s modus operandi.

smartphone vulnerabilities

The project “DropOutJeep” worked on a very basic method, yet with a clear software algorithm. NSA targeted the APPStore and convinced all of its users to plant a spyware on their iPhones that helped create a gateway for the NSA to access confidential information stored on the targeted iPhones.

5. WiFi Integrated Home Security Threats

Wi-FI integrated home security systems are surely a step forward in terms of convenience when it comes to the future of personal home security. However, these “security systems” are also vulnerable to the evil plotting of hackers and burglars.

As “Wi-Fi” devices are a part of these home security systems, the hackers and burglars can break in to your premises once they are done getting through your Wi-Fi router. According to many famous websites, like Engadget, Yahoo and MSN, the ComCast Xfinity security system can be stalled with the help of a ‘Radio Jamming Equipment’, making the device make false reports to the owner about the status of doors and windows in his or her house. Once the hackers are done with this process, they indulge in the free merchandize available in your household, leaving you broke and miserable.

Ensuring Internet Security in 2016

There are countless tools, methods and techniques that can help you protect your data, security and identity against the threats of cybercrime. However, a very select few are of any practical use for the everyday Netizen.

A VPN, or a Virtual Private Network, is an anonymous connection established over the public network, AKA the internet. When a VPN finally establishes an anonymous connection, the data packets that travel through the invisible connection are encrypted into alpha numeric binary codes. These codes are only decipherable by the recipient of those data packets, repelling all types of unwanted attention that mostly consist of hackers and snoops.

Ameer Abbas

Ameer Abbas is a senior editor and a most viewed writer on Quora in Internet Privacy, Cyber Security, VPN and Torrents. He has continued work as a privacy advocate with Best VPN Provider and is working towards becoming an established privacy & security author online. Ameer takes a keen interest in technology, geo-political affairs and international cyber laws. Ameer loves outdoor sports including cricket, swimming, athletics, and football.
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