Cyber attacks are on the rise across the world. These 4 ways to lessen your chance of cyber attack will come in handy and prevent you from being another statistic. Some of the famous attacks have included WannaCry (should have been MadeMeCry in my opinion), JBS Foods, AXA, and Pipeline.
Millions of dollars have been lost to these hackers as companies pay the ransoms demanded in order to be able to function again. While in the past, consumers were the main targets, a lot of cyber attacks are now aimed at big companies because the payoff is higher.
Updated December 2021
These malicious hackers on the dark web worked by hacking into the software of major companies, such as Acer, and Colonial Pipeline earlier this year. The Pipeline incident ended up disrupting the gas supplies across the East Coast of the U.S. Ransoms are demanded to return the computers to their proper functioning states.
Computer owners such as you and me are especially vulnerable to these attacks, and it’s important to remain vigilant because the hackers are getting more sophisticated. It’s not uncommon for ransom to be as high as $300 dollars or more once your computer is compromised.
Bitcoin payment is what is usually asked of the victims. Bitcoin is virtually untraceable and thus, is fast becoming the favored currency of the black market hackers, which of course makes it harder for the authorities to find and punish these evil people. However, it is still possible to prevent most attacks. Here are 4 ways to lessen your chance of cyber attack.
4 Ways to Lessen Your Chance Of Cyber Attack:
This is by far the easiest and fastest way to lessen your chance of cyber attack. Scammers exploit vulnerable computer programs. Companies like Microsoft and Apple constantly update their operating systems to prevent attacks or close any loopholes.
It is therefore important for you to make sure you have the latest versions of any app that you use so that you don’t become a victim. The best thing to do is just set your computer to update automatically.
This way, you don’t even have to think about it since it’s automated. If you’re a DIY kind of person, make sure not to ignore update prompts or security bug fixes when there is any. This is for your own protection. Companies are eager to protect their customers. Do your part to help them accomplish this.
No Clicking on email links:
It is imperative that you don’t open attached files or click on links in emails from people you don’t know. Even if the email looks normal, stay suspicious. There are still telltale signs that they are not legitimate.
What is Phishing? Phishing is when you are sent an email or text, or even a telephone call that is unsolicited. The person is tricked into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords and date of birth.
A popular “phishing scam” is to copy a legitimate site’s logo and look to trick you into revealing personal information which they can then use to gain access to your profile. Clicking the malicious links will wreak havoc that’s usually hard to correct.
Check the address origin:
Check the address of the sender and you’ll most likely see that the address is fake. For instance, it might look like the email is from your bank, but the address sending it is something like jumoda@bennin or just a series of numbers, and not the bank. A telephone call originates from a number such as 001 and so on.
The best thing to do if you have any questions or concerns is to visit the bank site yourself to log in. That is, use your browser, not their email. Hang up right away or delete the email. Remember that no bank will ever ask you to divulge sensitive information. They might ask for maybe the last digits of your social security number for example, but not the whole.
Skip those innocent looking “fun personality” links on Facebook:
We’ve all seen them. Those inviting games that get passed around. Titles like “what your favorite color reveals about you” etc. While some of these links are legitimate, others are not. Clicking on the link does exactly the same thing as the point above.
Plant malicious malware can be planted on your device when you participate in these kinds of “games”. Not only that, these people can glean information that looks harmless at first look, but can then be used to seize your account.
Do you know those identity questions that you set in case you forget your password? Well, these games give them access to your security questions. Revealing them helps hackers build a profile that can then be used against you. It happens all the time.
Use Strong Passwords:
It sounds easy enough, but you would be amazed at how many people still use their birthday or anniversary as their passwords. Make it hard for hackers by not being lazy. Remember, hackers and their computers do not sleep.
It might be a pain in the rear end for you to keep your passwords secure, but think of what would happen if you were to have your information, and financial life compromised. Mix it up, use a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers to lessen your chance of a cyber attack and takeover.
These are just 4 ways to lessen your chance of cyber attack. There are others, of course, some of which l have written about previously. It’s safe to say that cyber attacks will always happen and that the thieves are will continue to get more sophisticated.
All you can do is lessen your chance of a cyber attack. Sometimes it is out of your control though. If huge companies like FedEx, Microsoft, etc. are hacked and your information is compromised, well then there’s not much you can do. With all the money that these companies put into security, you would think cyberattacks would be preventable. You don’t go have to go down without a fight though.
BONUS way to lessen your chance of a cyber attack:
Make sure you have a complete backup of your files. If you do everything and still become a victim of ransomware, you can give them the proverbial finger! :-). With your backup, you can safely restore your files, change passwords and you’re good to go.
If you have kids, it is also a good time to teach them about financial responsibility and online safety as their actions can also impact the family finances, especially when sharing devices such as a desktop computer, iPad, etc.
How do you protect yourself and lessen your chance of cyber attack? Have you ever been a victim? If yes, how hard was it to recover from? Do you have any advice for others?