Here are five predictions for what will be the most important cyber trends of 2022 from NortonLifeLock Labs, a national leader in cybersecurity.
Many companies enable the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, which will likely lead to more casual investors who do not fully understand the nuances of how cryptocurrencies work. Scammers have been using those misunderstandings to separate people from their coins, and with this new set of new users, we expect a big increase in the number of scams out there.
Digital Identities
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many to work, communicate, take care of their health, and perform a variety of transactions remotely and online. You might have already had to use your cell phone to take a picture of your driver’s license and then send that image through email or text to verify your identity, open a bank account, or apply for a job. Criminals will be looking for ways to intercept these digital documents.
Protest, Vigilantism, and Terrorism
The primary goal of cybercriminals is to make money, but the motivation of hacking isn’t always so straightforward. Sometimes it bends toward using cyber intrusion as a form of protest. Hacker activists, or hacktivists, apply their craft to achieve political outcomes. They do this by disrupting governments, spreading fear, or bringing some information to light.
Natural Disasters
We’ve already seen that scammers never let a good crisis go to waste, with scammers swinging into action after devastating storms, fires, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whenever there is money flowing from insurance companies or the government to the victims of natural disasters, there is someone who will try to exploit that situation, either by committing fraud with stolen identities or scamming people directly.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Deepfakes: While creating truly realistic videos is still difficult, it’s getting easier and more approachable each year. As deepfake technology gets better and easier to use, it will become a useful tool for criminals, scammers, stalkers, and activists. And this means — even though we’re not there yet — that it might one day become more difficult to believe your own eyes and ears.
Personalized attacks powered by large datasets: With all the data that is now available from various breaches and scrapes, criminals could profile people to identify who is more likely to fall for certain types of attacks or scams, the techniques that will be most effective based on their experience with similar people, and craft messages that will be targeted directly at them based on services they are known to use.
Always remember, ACU representatives will never ask for your PIN. We also will never reach out to you over the phone or via email to request sensitive information, such as your account password, Social Security or account numbers. If you receive such communication, it’s likely coming from a scammer. Do not offer personal or confidential information via unsecured email or over the telephone.

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