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New occupational hazard: Journalists are the most vulnerable to cyberattack

Everyone is vulnerable to a cyberattack, but these five types of people should be extra wary.

Image: © AFP
Image: © AFP

The concept of privacy has shifted considerably in the past twenty-years. You can still draw the curtains across your home windows, but your digital activities are far more difficult to control. Each of us has a digital footprint, from our company’s profile to browser history and social media accounts. To add to this, governments collect data on their citizens, from processing pensions to issuing passports.

While this makes each of us vulnerable should a malicious actor obtain data that can be attributed to us (especially what is referred to as personally indefinable data, since this enables someone to attempt an impersonation). However, some in society, it appears, are more vulnerable than others.

But who is especially at risk to bad actors when it comes to cybersecurity? 

Digital Journal heard from Casey Allen (who leads the Information Technology team at Concentric) in relation to new information and data analysis whereby cybersecurity risks have been connected to occupations or lifestyle.

While everyone is vulnerable, there are five types of people who probably should be extra wary. These are:

Journalists

Allen says: “Since 2021, threat groups have turned up their targeting of journalists to siphon data and credentials as well as to track them. Those at established media organizations are increasingly at risk from hackers, companies, or even governments, particularly where there is limited press freedom.”

Frequent Flyers

Here Allen notes: “For those who are always traveling, for work or fun, using public Wi-Fi will put you in harm’s way. Additionally, in certain countries, increased surveillance can pose an additional cyber risk.”

Influencers

According to Allen: “When you put everything online (even if you think you are protecting yourself) people can easily connect the dots. From your children’s first day of school photos to where you’ve marked yourself as checked in; online activity can expose more than you’d think.”

C-Suite

Allen comments: “When the public learns that you’re a top earner, your risk of being targeted increases exponentially. It’s important to educate yourself, and your company’s staff, on best practices to keep everyone secure.”

Crypto Players

Allen explains: “Since it’s still such new technology, crypto leaves significant room for vulnerabilities in the digital asset ecosystem.”

In providing this information, Allen adds a new way of looking at cyber vulnerability and with this the warning for certain people to be a bit more cautious.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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