Technology is always changing and adapting. So, unfortunately, are cyber-criminals. MIT’s Technology Review website recently presented its list of the biggest technology security threats of 2012. If you spend much of your life surfing the web or communicating with your friends through social media sites, you should be interested in this list. Learning what’s on it can safeguard you and your computer in 2012.

Stolen, Spoofed Certificates

One difficulty that the article talked about is stolen or faked certificates. When you log into a website, your bank for instance, the traffic is encrypted with a “certificate”. This establishes that the site can be trusted. The faking and stealing of these certificates was a frequent strategy used by cyber-criminals in 2011. This can let them have access to confidential information.

 

A Common Security Mechanism in Trouble?

 

Sites use certificates as a security measure more than any other means. If these are no longer seen as trustworthy it may affect everyone, from the consumer, to the large company that is responsible for protecting your information.

 

Another key security challenge that we should be aware of is “hacktivism”. “Hacktivism” is the blend of the words activism and hack. Groups like Anonymous and LulzSec target organizations that they feel are either guilty of wrongdoings or just want to prove the companies have poor security. Whatever the reason, Technology Review says we ought to expect groups like these to carry on their “hacktivism” well into the future.

 

Home Automation

In 2012 another security risk is the rising popularity of home automation. People connect alarm systems, lights, even locks, to the internet to automate their homes. If reliable companies are not used or if hackers get into these systems think of the damage that can be done.