Ways To Protect Yourself From Cybersecurity Attacks

This is me.

Author: Tim Strawbridge

Date Created: Oct 13, 2021

  • cyber security
hacker at a computer desk

First, I can't express enough how important securing your online data is. I know this isn't shocking, but the social media accounts that you have store more data on you than you know. Besides that, we keep hearing about credit reporting agencies that have been breached or which company fell victim to malware or ransomware attacks. It seems like an endless cycle of cat-and-mouse. And it is. You can't do much when your data gets exposed by some hackers that target a company, however you can take control of what happens when these bad actors are trying to target you.

1. Protect yourself against malware and viruses

Malware is a piece of unwanted software that runs on a computer with the intent of causing harm or destruction. Although they are different, viruses, Trojan Horses, malicious files and worms can all play havoc on a computer.

What you can do to protect yourself:

2. Protect yourself against ransomware

Ransomware continues to be a leading threat today. Ransomware usually starts out as a phishing email wanting you to download a file. If downloaded, the file will be installed and encrypt the computers hard drive. Drive-by downloads are another way that ransomware is spread. File extensions found on drives with ransomware can be .vault, .crypto, .petya and a few others with repeating or sequenced extensions (.bbb, .zzz or .xxx). If ransomware is successfully executed on a hard drive, users will be locked out until a payment has been made.

What you can do to protect yourself:

3. QR code phishing on the rise

Since Covid-19 hit, "Qshing" - QR code phishing, has been on the rise. Why? QR codes are a significant improvement process in contactless transactions. It's easy. Point your phones camera at the QR code and your done. It's a perfect opportunity for scammers. So what can QR codes actually do? They can direct you to a website that contains malware. QR codes can also download apps.

What you can do to protect yourself:

4. Don't over share on social media

Social media is a powerhouse way to let the world know what you're up to. Unfortunately, bad actors know this and act on it. It sounds cool to have 100k followers on Instagram but when 75k of those are fake accounts they want to do one thing. Identify something you post to gain access to something you own. This could be something like an electricity service in your name. The point is, to not over share. By oversharing your making it easy for scammers to get information that they could use.

What you can do to protect yourself:

5. Use a password manager for storing passwords

Password managers are essential in keeping passwords secure. Look for password managers that encrypt the data. Some password managers encrypt data with a password. This can be good or bad. It might be better to use a digital certificate for encrypting your password managers data. However, both are better than keeping it in a text based file.

What you can do to protect yourself:

6. Avoid installing every cool app you see in app stores

App stores are not perfect but they are getting better at detecting when a developer misuses code and wants to harm consumers. Google Play and the App store have implemented strict guidelines and requirements for apps to be eligible to be published. Google bans apps for various reasons. There was an app called SpyFone that received a ban by the FTC (read the news release).

What you can do to protect yourself:

On of the best things that you or your company can do is get involved in cybersecurity. The CISA is an official agency in the United States that puts together cyber training and offers tips on cyber security.

Interested in finding out your cybersecurity score? I recommend checking out the CISA Hygiene Services page.

For more on security on the web check out some of our other blog entries related to cybersecurity.

Read about the Apple Developer Guidelines

Read about Google policy on content

Read the Ivanti QR code study

    Signup for our newsletter to access more than just blog posts. When you do, you'll get tailored content straight to your inbox!

    Related Posts