Getting hacked is the one thing everyone with a computer dreads, but unfortunately those hackers are clever and always seem to be one step ahead. No matter what measures we take to protect our data they seem to have the power to exploit any weakness in our security. And it’s not just our PC’s that are vulnerable. Think about the smartphone you carry around with you everywhere. Keep in mind that your phone is a mini computer and just as vulnerable to attacks as your desktop PC or laptop….and through it you could be carrying malware around in your pocket.
So how bad is it and what can we do about it?
Well there is never a 100% guarantee, but there are a few easy things we can do to help protect our data from Hackers.
Protect Your PC:
Dodgy websites, scammers contacting you by phone or email, popups, downloading infected data, cross contamination…..the list goes on and on! By now we know not to click on email links or attachments that may look a bit suspect, and we know that no reputable company would ever ask us to enter our personal details into an email. We know that right?….Right? Still, the risk of being hacked is growing…so maybe we don’t know?
Here are some ways your computer can get hacked, and methods to deal with them:
Email: Never open email attachments unless you can verify the sender and you trust them. Do not click on the links in spam email. You can usually spot a spam email because of broken English or odd grammar, however, some of them are quite sophisticated so be careful. If you are not sure about an email you can always copy and paste some of the text into your browser and see what comes up. Chances are that if it is spam you will find some reference to it online from spam alert sites. Never give your computer data out to anyone either calling on the phone or contacting you by email.
Popups: Never click on pop-up alerts. Don’t even click on the cross to delete the pop-up alert as this may result in getting more pop-ups. In fact you should use a pop-up blocker to avoid them completely.
Websites: Avoid questionable websites.
Be Careful When Downloading: Some sites may automatically download malicious software on to your computer, for example fake download buttons. Before ever clicking on a download button put your cursor over it and check the link.
You should also keep your OS and software updated regularly, so be sure to install best in class software to scan for viruses, spyware and other potential problems, and then use it regularly. We use AVG CloudCare AntiVirus and Malwarebytes.
AVG CloudCare: AVG CloudCare AntiVirus provides complete protection for your computer. Its antivirus protection detects, blocks, and removes viruses and malware from your PC and server. Click here for more about AVG CloudCare.
Malwarebytes Anti Malware: Malwarebytes detects and removes malware like worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a scan. It’s that simple. Click here for more about Malwarebytes.
The Data Traveler protects 100% of stored data and enforces complex password protection to prevent unauthorized access. More…
AVG will check files before you download and share them even when you’re instant messaging to make sure they’re safe. More…
The ZyXEL USG Advanced Series provides extensive anti-malware protection and effective control of web applications. More…
Change your virtual location and add an extra layer of privacy, or use your favorite services when you’re away from home. More…
Protect Your mobile Device
Did you know that 11.6 million devices are infected with malware at any given time? And most of those people don’t even know they are infected! According to Security Intelligence “of the top 100 paid apps, 97 percent of Android and 87 percent of Apple iOS apps have been hacked. To make things worse, it also found that 75 percent of the most popular free Apple iOS apps and 80 percent of the top free Android apps were found to have been hacked.”…ouch! Android malware is becoming harder to detect for the average smartphone user who pays little attention to security. Think about what you are using your mobile phone for. Where so you find the Apps that you are installing? Be careful of freeware downloads when installing Apps. What about your location? By granting access to location services you could be telling a cybercriminal where you are. And if you are bringing your mobile device to work and plugging it into your work computer you could be cross contaminating. How would you know you were infected? check for unusually large phone bills, dropped call or performance issues. This could be a sign of infection.
In the event that you do find yourself with malware on your Android, there are a couple of options. First, delete the offending app. Even then you may still have lingering malware. You may have to completely reset your smartphone by doing a factory reset. There are some security apps available in the Google Play Android app store and If you use your smartphone for business, your IT department may have solutions to help you purge any malware.
Think Like a Hacker
Thinking about your online security is very confusing and scary. But one way you can try to protect yourself is to think like a Hacker. Think about how easy it might be to gain access to your own personal data if you were someone else. Analyze your apps, passwords, malware scans etc. and see if you can spot any deficiencies. Remember Hacking is illegal. Only do this on your OWN device to protect yourself.
We want to make sure you are as secure as possible so we have compiled the websites below to provide you with additional information.
10 Ways to Protect Against Hackers by Wendy Zamora of Malwarebytes.
Think You Are Immune From Mobile Malware Attacks? Think Again by Jason Hardy of Security Intelligence.
A Perfect Match: Uniting Mobile Security With Your Employees’ Use of Online Dating Apps by Neill Jones of Security Intelligence.
Your smartphone could have serious security flaws by Laura Hautala of CNET.com