Malware. Ransomware. Phishing.
10 years ago, these terms meant nothing. Now, they are something to be feared, just like a burglar or the boogie-man.
Currently, the greatest threat to personal security comes in the form of a data breech. Not only can your social security number, your credit card and your bank account information get stolen, there are so many different ways that this data can be obtained, that most people are unaware of how or when. Hackers have successfully broken into many “secure” sites and taken names, passwords and email addresses of millions of users. Apple, Ebay, Target, the IRS, Home Depot, and JP Morgan Chase are just a few big name websites that have been hacked.
In addition, another recent threat to security has been in the form of “ransomware” attacks. This is a new technique used by hackers where they trick you into opening a document or a link through an email or email attachment that then runs a malicious program on your local computer and/or network that locks all of your data files so that they cannot be opened without paying someone a monetary “ransom” that would then unlock your coded files.
How can you prevent this from happening to you? How can you keep your information from getting hacked and sold on the internet?
There are many ways to prevent these intrusions from happening to you and your business. Keep in mind however, that none of these are fool-proof.
Software – the most popular software package is known as an Internet Security Suite. These are the bundled “all-in-one” software packages that include an anti-virus program, a firewall and other products designed to scan your email and network in real-time. These programs utilize a database that is constantly updated so it would be able to recognize any attempted intrusion or program trying to gain unauthorized access to your system.
Consultants – Many smaller businesses employ an independent IT consulting firm. These businesses really don’t need to have a regular full-time IT department. As a result, they hire IT consultants to ensure that their system needs (including security) are met. These consultants normally work off-site and consist of a team of IT consultants that monitor workstations and network in real-time to ensure that everything is functioning normally. In the event of a security breach, these consultants would be notified either through a phone call or through an alert message coming from the monitoring software.
The more technologically savvy and reliant we become on computers, the more important it is to take the appropriate steps in protecting yourself and your business.