Cybercrime Outlook 2020: The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Your Online Privacy

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According to one security company’s analysts, there are several cybercrime predictions that you should prepare for in the coming decade. The group that has made these predictions, Kaspersky Lab, says the problem of privacy protection will be one of the key issues of the decade.

Kaspersky Lab, an international company based in Moscow, focuses on preventing these threats from spreading, and educating the community at large on best practices to ensure the greatest possible online security.

Kaspersky, which was named no. 32 in Fast Company’s list of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, has produced an in-depth look at upcoming online privacy trends this decade.

Here are some of the “good, bad, and ugly” highlights:

  1. Things like biometric user-identification and payment-protection systems will become the norm.
  2. The online retail base will expand to nearly all mobile and smartphone devices, meaning we will all be capable of using the Internet to shop, exchange, or transfer information without the need for human intervention.
  3. By 2020, the emerging trend of making payments electronically and using online banking will continue.
  4. Today’s cybercrook will need to enlist the help of members of the younger generation who are capable of writing malicious code for the new, emerging mobile platforms. However, this may lead to “turf wars” between different hackers and hacker groups.
  5. Cybercrime in 2020 will fall into two groups: one will specialize in attacks on businesses (corporate espionage, database theft, and corporate reputation-smearing attacks), the other will target things that influence our everyday lives (transportation and common services).
  6. Hackers will continue to make a living by stealing personal information and data about customers’ online activities.
  7. By 2020, keyboards will be obsolete. This means spammers will need to seek out new ways of sending unwanted correspondence, so the first key change is that spammers will move from targeting desktops to targeting mobile devices. The Kaspersky report says the “volume of mobile spam will grow exponentially, while the cost of Internet-based communications will shrink due to the intensive development of cellular communication systems. As a result, users will be less likely to worry about unwanted advertising material.”
  8. The adage “knowledge is power” will be more relevant than ever, as companies struggle to collect, manage, store, and use your information. How will that affect your privacy? How will it define the nature of threats for the next decade?

Looking Ahead, Looking Back

So you think these trends won’t manifest in this decade? It’s actually unlikely those predictions won’t come true, especially when you consider some of the most significant trends since the year 2000:

  • Our teeny smartphones and other devices can now access the Internet from virtually any point on the globe, making wireless networks the most popular method of connecting online.
  • Viruses have become the norm in the cybercrime world.
  • Social networks and search engines have become some of the primary services of today’s Internet.
  • Internet shopping has become the norm. How much online shopping do you do now compared to the year 2000? It’s probably quadrupled, so imagine what your online retail footprint will look like in 2020.
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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.