How to Prevent Cyberattacks

To stay safe and keep your home and personal items secure, you're taught to lock your doors, windows and to set an alarm. The same rules apply to your car parked in the driveway. So then why are people less inclined to follow security advice when it comes to their cyber space?

According to CNN Tech, 1 million new malware threats are published, shared and circulated from one unsuspecting user to another online. Business Insider reported in March 2016 that cyberattacks cost companies millions of dollars in damages. Why are businesses, organizations and ultimately individuals not taking cybersecurity seriously?

If you want to protect your company from a vicious data security breach and are asking how to prevent cyberattacks, you have come to the right place. Here is a list of precautions to take to protect your biggest investment: your business.

Cyber Preventative Strategies: Protecting Company Data

Don't click and open every email. Most businesses (if not all in the 21st century) communicate via email with clients, colleagues and management. If you see that an email has been sent to you by another employee in the company, you generally don't think about opening the email twice. You should. In February of last year, a Snapchat employee received an email from who appeared to be his boss, asking for the payroll data of Snapchat's employees. The employee sent the data, only to learn later that they had been caught up in a phishing scam.

A cybercriminal posing as the employee's boss was able to bypass email spam security and get data sent back to him all tied up in a pretty red bow. If you receive an email asking you to share private company information, even from the boss, check out that the email did come from the right person. And if it wasn't obvious already, don't share billing, payroll or other private information online that could hurt staff.

Don't download unverified documents or web applications. This piece of advice comes from the Department of Homeland Security. If you are sent an email from a retailer you do business with that asks you to download an attachment, think again. Cyber hackers have gotten very skilled at impersonating retail companies and appearing legitimate. Call your client or partner and make sure it was they who sent the email.

Change your passwords regularly. Every account you have asks for a username and password. After making up a few passwords and forgetting two of the three repeatedly, you decide to use the same one for every account, making login time easier. This is exactly what cybercriminals expect you to do. Using credential stuffing scams, hackers can \"repeatedly attempt to access to customers' accounts by using the log-in details it has obtained from somewhere else.\" As most people use the same log-in information for most of their accounts, breaking into them is a cinch. Use unrelated passwords or encrypted passwords, this makes it much harder for a cybercriminal to crack the code.

Update software regularly. Yes, it's irksome when a pop-up box appears on your screen reminding you that you need to install your latest software update. The idea of having to wait for the installation while you're trying to complete a project seems like just too much, so you check the box asking to remind you about the update 'tomorrow.' By choosing to not update your software system regularly, you are choosing to work on a vulnerable system. Hackers keep abreast of system updates and news and actively search for networks that have not been updated. If you haven't updated your system in a while, you network could already be compromised.

If you're experiencing a slower internet speed, an onslaught of pop-ups or your system crashes without explanation, you most likely have malware on your system.

Back up your hard-drive regularly. Saving your documents and other work-related data to your desktop and hard drive isn't enough. If a cybercriminal is able to penetrate your network, their M.O. is to steal your data and hold it for ransom. By backing up your files elsewhere, you will still have all of your data. Though keep in mind that the cybercriminal will have a copy of it too, and that can hurt your company's reputation, depending on what the hacker decides to do with it.

The world will not end should your system become compromised, though it'll feel that way initially. When you get cyber insurance with CyberPolicy, you're guaranteed a plan that will cover your assets!

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