Reduce Your Chances of Becoming a Cybercrime Victim

cybercrimes

Unfortunately Cybercrimes are something that won’t be going away any time soon. In fact, cybercriminals are usually ahead of the game and are always finding new and modern techniques to use in order to attack a business. A managed service provider or IT support specialist is working for you behind the scenes doing everything they can on their end to keep your network secure.

In addition to IT support, keeping company devices secure is a TEAM effort. You and your employees need to know how to avoid accidentally inviting a hacker, virus or data breach into your organization. Cybercriminals prey on your innocence and have become highly sophisticated in how they gain access. So it’s important that you follow best practices that will help your business and/or personal devices stay secure and help to reduce your chances of becoming a cybercrime victim.

Here are a few cyber security tips for you and your employees to follow on how to protect company data and devices.

 

IT Security Tip #1: If this type of alert pops up, DON’T click on it!

You’re working at your computer when all of the sudden – BAM! – you get a pop-up notification that your PC is infected with a virus and you must “click here” to run a scan or install antivirus software. This is a common scareware tactic used by hackers to get you to click and download a virus. (You should know we would NEVER deliver that type of pop-up to you!)

Often it will appear to be a system alert or a Microsoft operating system alert. Regardless of how legitimate it looks, NEVER click on the site or the pop-up. The safest thing to do is close your browser; do not click on the X, “Close” or “Cancel” button in the pop-up or on the site because clicking on anything on the page or pop-up will trigger a virus download. If that won’t work, bring up your task manager (hold Control + Alt + Delete on a PC and Command + Option + Esc to “Force Quit” on a Mac) and close the web browser or application where it appeared. Next, notify your IT department (us!) that this has happened so we can double-check with a legitimate scan if your computer was infected.

 

IT Security Tip #2: Use STRONG passwords!

Thanks to powerful brute-force-attack software readily available online, hackers can try tens of millions of possible password combinations per second. For example, hacking software can guess a five-character password in under three hours. If you only use lowercase letters, it’s 11.9 seconds.

You KNOW you need to have a better password than “password” or “letmein” if you have any hope of keeping hackers out of your PC; but what does a “strong” password mean? A good password should be at least eight characters long (or longer!) and have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols that are hard to guess. Don’t use dictionary words with proper capitalization because they’re easy to guess (like Password123#). Even though it meets the requirements we just discussed, it’s easily hacked; remember, hackers have sophisticated password-hacking software that will run 24/7/365. If you want a quick tip for remembering your password, use a phrase and insert letters and numbers into it, like $h@KeNb8ke.

 

IT Security Tip #3: DON’T use public WiFi until you read this

We’re all guilty of it: connecting to free public WiFi. Whether it’s at the coffee shop, hotel or airport, the temptation to check e-mail and surf the web is just too strong to resist. So BEFORE you connect to any free, public WiFi, make sure the connection is legitimate.

It’s not uncommon for hackers to set up fake clones of public WiFi access points to try and get you to connect to THEIR WiFi over the legitimate, safe public one being made available to you. Before connecting, check with an employee of the store or location to verify the name of the WiFi they are providing. Next, NEVER access financial, medical or other sensitive data while on public WiFi. Also, don’t shop online and enter your credit card information unless you’re absolutely certain the connection point you’re on is safe and secure.

 

IT Security Tip #4: Don’t just close your browser!

When online accessing a banking site or any other application containing sensitive data, make sure you log out of the site and THEN close your browser. If you simply close your browser, some of the session information that a hacker can use to gain entry is still running in the background.

 

For additional tips on how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack – sign up for our FREE Weekly Cyber Security Tips. Yes, totally and completely free! To sign up for your very first tip, please use the follow link: https://www.sdtek.net/sign-up-for-our-weekly-cyber-security-tip/

 

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