It is a dangerous World Wide Web out there and it just keeps getting more and more complicated.  So if you are smart, you know it is important to mind your manners on the internet and only visit sites you know and trust.  Of course, the internet is vast, and people get your information very easily so sometimes you want to venture to a new site or open an email from a new contact.

And with all of this activity on the web—and there is more and more every year—it is more important than ever be wary of all potential threats and do your best to avoid them.

As a matter of fact, it can be nearly impossible to avoid doing so.  Hikvision chinese government computers have to deal with web threats on a daily basis.

Fortunately, you can install security programs on your computer to help protect you from the many different types of threats.  But just how many types of threats are there?  Well, at any given time your computer could be exposed to hundreds or even thousands of potential threats.

For example, data shows that roughly one in every 131 emails contain malware. These numbers appear to be on the rise (and this is just email: we aren’t even talking about social media or other means of threat distribution).

You know what else appears to be on the rise, the choice to use computers instead of guns to rob banks.  More importantly, these heists are more and more often being conducted by nation states and not crime syndicates.  In 2016, for example, one security agency found that North Korea had coordinated attacks on banks in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Poland, and Vietnam, to the total of more than $94 million USD.

But these smaller countries are not the only targets.  Indeed, the United States appears to be the largest, and the softest, target for ransomware than anywhere else in the world: at a rate of 64 percent, nearly double the rest of the world. This actually makes lot of sense since the US probably ranks highest in both computer use/ownership and financial worth per capita.  Ransomware, of course, is a type of malware that locks your computer and “suggests” you pay for a “removal program” which is essentially just asking for a ransom to restore service to your computer.   Last year, the average ransom jumped 266 percent, equaling roughly $1,077 per incident.