You don’t have to be an ace to ensure the protection of your business, employees and clients; however cybersecurity is so vital it should be at the forefront of all your practices. Awareness starts by being able to identify potential threats as way to decrease attacks and data breaches. From the many online threats, the most common are Spam, Phishing, Virus and Spyware.

Spam, or unsolicited junk emails, does more than take up space in your inbox. You can prevent the risk of acquiring a computer virus by refraining from opening or forwarding spam mail. In accordance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, all spam distributors must have the receiver’s consent prior to sending the correspondence. If you’re getting spam forward it to spam@uce.gov and the FTC will pursue legal action against the spammers.

Phishing is a tactical way of stealing vital information via false representation. Most attackers send fraudulent emails claiming to be a reputable company, you may or may not do business with, in need of personal information, as would be a credit card or account number. These emails may even have links to seemingly legitimate websites often identical to that of a trusted company, referred to as Website Hijacking, where you can input the data. In a similar fashion phishers use Keystroke Programs, which are downloaded to the receiver’s computer via fraudulent emails, which record every keystroke giving them your usernames and passwords, along with any other important data.

Here are some tips on safeguarding against phishing:

  • Carefully spelling out websites you visit.
  • Check the site has been updated recently.
  • Use a separate email for login information.
  • Monitor your email activity (Sends, Receives, Deletes) to verify no one else is using your account.

A Virus, like Spyware, can be inserted into your computer through links, emails and/or downloads. The major difference between the two is a virus can delete/corrupt files, steal information and crash your entire operating system. Whereas spyware is used to monitor your activity, steal records, passwords and other important material.

Protect yourself by:

  • Having the latest version of all security software, browser and operating systems. These are designed for optimal performance against virus, malware and cyber threat.
  • Update with regularity. Most software come with automatic defense patch updates .
  • Be cautious of hardware. Perform a security scan whenever you insert a USB drive or external devices to prevent viral downloads.
  • Believe your Security Warning. Trust your security software’s alarm when visiting a possible harmful site. Exit the website immediately.
  • Don’t Download random content. Use only trusted, secure “https://” websites to download content.

Keep yourself and those around you protected against cyber crime. Visit MySecurityAwareness for more tips and information on how to keep your information private.