For streamers and popular public figures, swatting attacks are well-known illegal harassment tactics that involve sending special law enforcement units to a specific person by feeding police falsified information to disrupt and endanger innocent individuals. In recent days, criminals have gotten creative in their harassment tactics. Perpetrators hijack smart gadgets to watch or live stream emergency responders on the internet to endanger and ridicule their targets. With a combination of hacking tactics and other anonymity tools like proxy servers, cybercriminals launch multiple attempts to brute-force attack passwords on smart devices and seize their control.
In this article, our goal is to educate internet users on potential cybersecurity threats and the means to prevent them. We will discuss password changes, the creation of stronger passwords, user-agent swapping to prevent tracking from big tech companies, and the usage of proxy servers to ensure safety and security online. The effect of cybersecurity threats ranges from regular browsing to sensitive data tasks on the web. For example, if you are using a SERP API to extract information from the Google search engine or discover security threats on larger websites, you have to protect your IP address with a proxy server. To learn more about SERP API, data collection tasks, and the obstacles they encounter, check out Smartproxy – a business-friendly proxy provider that offers great educational material to its clients. For now, let’s focus on swatting and other cybersecurity threats and the means to prevent them.
How Can You Prevent a Swatting Attack?
While the victims of swatting attacks are usually public online figures, video game players that disclose too much private information on the internet can become victims of an unsuspected visit from law enforcement. Heated competitive games lead to brutal arguments that escalate into harassment and can get much more serious if a person holding a grudge has segments of your personal information.
To prevent swatting, take safety precautions and avoid sharing private data with competitors and unknown parties, especially information that would disclose your live location. Also, having a unique gamer tag is always a better idea than sharing your full name with strangers on the internet. If the damage has already been done, make sure to use a VPN or a proxy server to camouflage your network identity from potential cybercriminals.
Protect Smart Devices From Intrusion
A modern home is full of smart gadgets and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The first line of defense is the security of your router because these products will be connected to your Wi-Fi. To prevent unexpected connections to your home network, make sure to change the default setting set up by your internet provider.
Do Not Recycle Your Passwords!
Creating identical passwords for multiple accounts is an unbreakable habit for many internet users. However, it takes only one password to get leaked to put your entire internet identity in danger.
To prevent data leaks, do not recycle your passwords. Create a unique password for each account. This way, if one account gets breached, you do not risk losing sensitive data on your emails, online shops, and social media accounts.
We get it, using multiple passwords can get confusing. I’m sure most of our readers that care about internet privacy forget their unique passwords and constantly have to recover them. If you have trouble remembering individual passwords for multiple online accounts, use a password manager. These external tools usually come as browser extensions and securely store your passwords. If you find these tools untrustworthy, you can write them down on a text file or a sheet of paper.
Use Stronger Passwords
This warning rarely applies to experienced internet users, but weak passwords have become a serious weakness for cyberattacks. With proxy servers, cybercriminals can brute-force attack passwords. The simpler the password, the easier it is for a cybercriminal to get in. Passwords consisting of only numbers are easy to guess with automated software.
To make sure that the efforts of cybercriminals go in vain, use stronger passwords mixed in capital letters and unique symbols. Such a unique combination gives a much harder time for hackers to infiltrate your home network and smart devices.
Utilize Proxy Servers
Proxy servers are the most versatile internet security tools. These intermediary servers reroute your data packets and conceal your network identity. Even the creation of a proxy server can go multiple ways: you can find a free proxy online, create your proxy or get unique server IPs from a reliable proxy server provider.
Let’s take a moment to discuss free proxies and their mischievous nature. Free middlemen servers we encounter online are usually set up by anonymous third parties that can monitor the information traveling through their address. While your IP address will remain concealed by a free proxy, the people behind them can spy on your data packets and steal valuable knowledge. Legitimate proxies are great privacy tools, but free proxies, although attractive, can be a cybersecurity threat themselves.
You can create your proxy server, but it will not carry the same benefits as a proxy from a legitimate provider. It will still help by changing your IP address, but you will miss out on many benefits provided by the services of a legitimate proxy provider.
While it may seem like a sales pitch, professional proxies provided by a respected provider offer so much more than a singular proxy IP. First, you have a wide pool of locations to choose from, and using these addresses will allow you to access geo-blocked websites from all around the world. Once you have more IPs to choose from, you can utilize multiple addresses to anonymize different instances of your connection, which is especially useful for running automated bots. Last, but not least, you can use the services to set up reverse proxies to protect your website. These IPs act as an additional layer of protection that filters access to the page, prevents DDoS attacks, and helps stabilize the server during unusually high traffic.
Information technologies play a massive role in our modern lives; therefore, every internet user has to know about potential security threats and the ways to deal with them. Avoid exposure of private information, create strong and unique passwords, utilize proxy servers, and you will have a stable layer of protection that will prevent most cybersecurity attacks.