As technology improves, so does the sophistication level of hackers who attempt to access your mobile devices and computer hardware. A hacker can damage or disable your tech devices and steal private business and personal data. Use these tips to protect yourself and your business from a cyber attack.
Mobile device security
Your mobile device may be expensive to replace, so take steps to secure your device and prevent damage. Look for reliable iPhone cases that protect your device if you drop your phone. You can find cases that protect both the device and the screen from damage, and some phone cases offer a lifetime replacement option.
If you carry your device when you exercise, hike, or bike ride, make sure that your phone is secure. Keep your mobile device away from water and extreme heat or cold.
Your desktop computer and mobile device are at risk for cyber attacks, including malware, spyware, and phishing attacks. If a hacker is successful, your personal data may be at risk, along with business and customer data.
Consider each of these potential risks, and how they may impact you:
- Malware: Malware is software that is designed to damage a computer or computer servers, and hackers use several techniques to gain access. Google blacklists thousands of websites each week because the purpose of the websites is to deliver malware to computer systems.
- Phishing: Hackers attempt to access computer data by using phishing scams. Phishing occurs when a hacker tries to entice a user to open an email attachment. When the attachment is opened, the computer is infected with malware that disables the computer or steals private information.
- Data leakage: This attack may happen when a person downloads a free app, and the download allows a hacker to send data to a server, and mine the data for valuable personal and business information.
- Spyware: As the name implies, this type of attack allows a third party to track your physical location and monitor your use patterns, such as the websites that your visit.
Each of these security breaches can cause expensive damage to your personal or business computer, and allow a hacker to steal valuable private information. McAfee Labs detected 1.5 million incidents of mobile malware in the first 3 months of 2017, and the number of incidents continues to increase.
Secure your devices
Protect your devices from a cyber attack by using these tips:
- Password enhancement: Make your passwords more complex, by using more characters and inputting a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols into your password. Change your password periodically to increase security.
- Email attachments: If an email attachment is not from an email address you know, don’t open the attachment. Hackers often create phishing scams by sending emails from companies that look legitimate, such as your bank or credit card company. Contact the company by phone and verify that the email is authentic.
- Software: Install reliable anti-virus software on your devices, and run software checks periodically to ensure that no virus or malware is operating on your device.
- Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi: Many consumers try to reduce their personal data usage by logging into free Wi-Fi in airports and coffee shops, but this web access may not be secure. Also, hackers often create websites that appear to offer the desired free access. Avoid using Wi-Fi, unless you know that the connection is secure.
If you operate a business, you need to train your staff to follow all of these guidelines, and you should document your policies in a formal procedures manual. Creating a manual will avoid confusion about company policy and serve as a useful tool for training new employees.
Ask an expert
Consult with experts to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Ask a tech expert about the right anti-virus software for your devices, and how often you should run the software. Invest the time and effort necessary to keep your devices secure.