NortonLifeLock (NASDAQ: NLOK), a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety, released its top predictions for cyber trends to watch in 2022, including new momentum in cyber activism, scammers capitalizing on natural disasters, the demise of online tracking, the rise of cryptocurrency scams and more.
"As our digital and physical lives continue to merge, we must remember that Cyber Safety goes beyond our devices,"
said Petros Efstathopoulos, Global Head of Research at NortonLifeLock.
"These predictions reveal the challenges we expect will arise, however, if people are aware of what's to come, they can begin the New Year empowered with the knowledge and tools needed to keep up with tomorrow's threats."
Norton Labs researchers revealed their top six predictions for 2022, including:
- Democratization of cryptocurrencies leads to uptick in scams: The buying and selling of cryptocurrencies has become more accessible than ever before to casual investors, who may be more susceptible to scammers looking to take advantage.
- Growth in digital identities: The pandemic has created an environment where remote and online transactions must be accommodated and verified. Electronic identification – or eID – will become the new method of safely and securely allowing people to share their identity.
- More hacktivism & cyber terrorism: While the primary goal for cybercriminals is to make money, it can also be a form of protest. Hacktivism and cyber terrorism proliferated in 2021 and will likely continue, if not increase, over the next year.
- An influx of extreme weather events and natural disasters will mean big business for scammers: Scammers have long capitalized on natural disasters, preying on the urgent financial needs of those directly impacted and those looking to support victims through donations.
- AI eases work for cybercriminals: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming more accessible, and these tools will make it easier for cybercriminals to fuel their attacks, whether it’s sifting through large datasets to develop more personalized attacks or creating more convincing deepfake videos.
- Online tracking’s slow demise: As consumers become increasingly aware of online tracking, companies and governments are introducing alternative options and privacy protections, along with more legislation that restricts online tracking.
Norton Cyber Safety tips to help protect against these evolving threats include:
- Be on alert for scams: Whether it’s a cryptocurrency or natural disaster scam, cybercriminals will claim to be representatives or organizations they are not. Question unsolicited calls, texts and emails, and avoid clicking on any links – even if you recognize the organization’s name. Take a moment to search for the organization’s official website or phone number to verify that it is legitimate.
- Check privacy and security settings: Adjust your settings to control who sees what you post and consider turning off location services to avoid apps tracking you in the background. Here are more details on how to change your privacy and security settings for popular devices and online services.
- Take advantage of Norton AntiTrack: Online tracking can be done in more intrusive ways and using anti-tracking solutions can help supplement privacy settings. Downloading tools like Norton AntiTrack, which helps detect and block advanced online tracking, can help protect your information.