Cyber Theft: What is it and how can I prevent it?

There is no doubt that the internet has made many things more convenient. From online shopping, to watching television shows to online banking, many daily activities are made much easier with the use of the internet. But with this convenience also comes a risk: Cyber Theft.

What exactly is Cyber Theft?

Cyber Theft is defined as the stealing of financial and/or personal information through the use of computers for fraudulent or other illegal use. Cyber Theft can occur in many ways. One of the most common is through hackers using a particular type of software referred to as Malware. Malware, short for malicious software, is software that is intended to damage computers in order to gain access to sensitive information. Hackers infect computers by sending this software via email with attachments or links. Another way this type of software affects your computer is through pop-up ads on websites. Once malware has infected your computer, it can record sensitive information you enter regularly without giving it much thought – such as usernames and passwords to online banking, credit card information, and more.

Businesses Should Be Concerned As Well

Businesses are just as vulnerable as individuals to Cyber Theft. In fact, Cyber Theft can be an even bigger concern for businesses. Hackers will often send malware or other infectious software through email to an individual in a company, and if that particular individual opens the link or attachment in that email, they could potentially infect the entire network. Businesses should be very cautious about whom they receive emails from, and only open attachments or click links from reliable sources. If you are unsure about whether or not an attachment is safe, call the person who sent it to you and confirm it is something that they intended to send. If your company has an IT department, consult with your IT professional as to the safety of questionable emails.

How Can I Prevent Cyber Theft?

  • Keep updated virus protection software on your computer, especially one that is capable of detecting malware.
  • Keep a paper trail of receipts, bank statements, etc. to check and make sure they are accurate.
  • When shopping online, shop on secure sites only.
  • Try to avoid shopping online using public wifi.
  • Don’t save credentials such as passwords or credit card information in your internet browser.
  • Be cautious about the links you click on or the information you give out online. Only enter information or click on links that are from sources you trust or were expecting.


Have more questions about how you can better protect yourself against Cyber Threat? Give Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan a call at 845-895-2051, visit, or stop into any of our branches are our staff will be happy to help!