VPN provider Surfshark has created the world's first Data Vulnerability Thermometer, alongside a cybercrime encyclopedia.
The tool allows users to calculate the probability of falling victim to certain cybercrimes, as well as what personal information is needed to commit certain types of fraud, identity theft, and scams.
Surfshark's data about the financial losses incurred by victims of cybercrime is a sobering reminder to utilize security tools like password managers and antivirus software, but also of the importance of educating yourself on the risks themselves.
What does Surfshark's Data Vulnerability Thermometer do?
Surfshark says the Data Vulnerability Thermometer “serves as a one-in-all stop for learning about cybercrime, assessing personal risk scores in data breaches, and evaluating possible criminal outcomes.”
The Thermometer's main function is to indicate connections between around 50 data points and 20 cybercrimes. The chance of becoming a victim of any given cybercrime is measured by comparing the frequency of specific cybercrimes to the total number of possible cases.
There's a library of internet crimes to educate yourself with, as well as information regarding the rates of crimes, what to look out for, and how you can prevent them from happening to you.
SurfShark's Data Vulnerability Thermometer will reveal everything you need to know about cybercrimes – including the risks they pose to you and your business.
The page itself is easy to use, with clear instructions on how to use it displayed immediately; thought has gone into the best way to make this mountain of information as accessible and digestible as possible.
“The Data Sensitivity Thermometer was developed keeping in mind data breach victims, of which we’ve seen more and more nowadays” – Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark, said in a press release.
He added that “when people find out their personal information has been hacked, it often results in panic. Our tool seeks to alleviate this worry by giving people answers with fact-based information and realistic probabilities regarding their specific case.”
The Rising Threat of Cybercrime
According to Surfshark, 1 billion people were affected by data breaches last year. Small businesses are one of the most hard-hit demographics, too – roughly 82% of ransomware attacks happen to small businesses.
But that's not the only type of cybercrime financially damaging small, medium, and large businesses across the globe:
As you can see, ransomware, tech support scams, online payment fraud and phishing scams – which are among the most serious online threats to businesses in the US and beyond – defrauded companies and consumers of well over $500m last year.
Surfshark isn't the only VPN company to respond to the rapidly increasing frequency of various types of cybercrime with a new feature. NordVPN, for example, recently added a ‘Dark Web Monitor' feature to its already impressive catalog of security tools – the provider will scan the dark web for your personal information to see if it has been leaked in any data breaches.
Protecting Yourself and Your Business From Cybercrimes
Exposure to cybercrime is, unfortunately, becoming an increasingly common fixture of both work and personal life for millions of people around the world. As online criminal operations have got more sophisticated, however, so has technology that will stop them in their tracks.
Take password managers, for instance. The first line of defense against threat actors – and arguably the most important – is a strong password. Weak passwords are one of the easiest ways a threat actor can access your accounts – and if you're reusing the same password on multiple websites, a hacker could gain access to virtually everything you store online with just a few characters of information.
Password managers are great for business and personal use as they allow users to create complex, varied passwords for all of their accounts whilst removing the responsibility of having to remember them all.