Cybercrime has become a multi-billion dollar business, with hackers raking in over $5 billion in 2017 from ransomware attacks alone.
These cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to trick you and steal your information. Even with the latest security measures in place, it’s important to stay vigilant to avoid becoming a victim.
Follow our suggestions to be aware of today’s top risks and keep your information safe from hackers.
Common Types of Cyber Attacks
RansomWare is software that attempts to extort money from the owner of the computer, usually by doing something malicious such as encrypting important documents so that they’re unusable, and then demanding money to have them decrypted. RansomWare is often distributed through email links, attachments, or advertisements on the web.
Phishing attacks use fraudulent emails to trick you into clicking a link, opening an infected attachment, or revealing personal or financial information. These emails often appear to be from a legitimate company or someone you know.
CEO Fraud, aka ‘Whaling’
Similar to phishing, whaling uses fraudulent emails to gain access to sensitive information. In these cases, the emails appear to be sent from the company CEO or another top executive. Common requests include banking information, tax documents, or employee SSNs. Depending on their goal, the emails may be directed to someone in accounting, HR, or IT.
Social engineering typically begins with a phone call from someone pretending to be with a legitimate company – your internet service provider, or even Microsoft tech support. The scammers may claim your PC is infected and attempt to gain access to your computer by directing you to download a program. Or, they may try to convince you to purchase and install their ‘security’ software, which is actually a malicious program.
What you can do to protect yourself & your business from these 4 attacks
- DO NOT click links or open attachments in suspicious emails. Be especially wary of anything that’s not a normal office document (Excel, World, PDF, etc.), and anything compressed inside of a Zip file.
- DO NOT click on ads in your internet browser. And on computers and devices used for work, visit only work-related websites.
- NEVER send passwords, personal or financial information via email. Legitimate companies will not ask you to verify sensitive information through email.
- NEVER enter your Office password or Email password on a web page – unless you are 100% sure the page is legitimate.
- HANG UP immediately if you receive a call from someone attempting to gain access to your PC. No one from a legitimate company will call to assist with an issue you never reported.
- DO NOT call technical support numbers listed on suspicious pop-up messages claiming your computer has been infected.
- CHECK WITH YOUR COMPANY’S IT if you’re unsure about an email, website, attachment, etc. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!