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Now more than ever, we basically live on our computers or devices. Little do we realize that’s also a daily invitation to be hacked, or at least thwart countless hacking attempts. There are several things we can do to be successfully not hacked, while also spending our waking lives online.

 

First, when using public WiFi, don’t use a hotspot you don’t know. Hackers sit in café’s specifically hoping you’ll log into their hotspot trap and they’ll in turn, have access to your entire device while you’re unknowingly surfing the web on “free” WiFi. “T-Mobile and ATT, the largest providers of free public wireless internet (the kind often available in coffee shops, airports and hotels), don’t require encryption of data traveling between laptops and the internet, which means any info-your email password, your bank account balance-is vulnerable to hackers.”


So be sure to use a VPN while logged onto a public WiFi, or just don’t use a public WiFi (if you can help it).


There is also strength in passwords. Hackers can guess a six figure, lower case password in less than 10 minutes. Less than 10 minutes! Using several characters, numbers, and uppercase letters however, will help your device remain safe even under attempts to guess their way in. Using phases is also a great way to creak uncrackable passwords, “The phrase “say no to hackers,” for instance, would theoretically take a hack thousands of years to guess-until now, that is.”


A wise computer genius once said, passwords are like underwear. Never share them with anyone, keep them off your desk, and change them often.


Another way to protect yourself online is to keep off sites that are brought to your attention in linked or attached emails.


A single link in a malicious email can shut down your entire device while also loading malware or ransomware onto your network or your businesses network, costing thousands If not millions of dollars in down-time and recovery to get your data back (not to mention the cost of the ransom).


You are always at risk of being hacked.


Phishing emails are the most commonly used attempt to gain access to your life. Those phishing emails are also what contain clickable links that will upload a virus, or download your credentials and personal information directly into a the hands of a hacker. If able to avoid (it almost always is), do not click on links you’re unsure of. Copy and paste into your browser or search for the link yourself without clicking.


These steps will help ensure your online life stays entirely online and out of the clutches of a bad actor. Contact us to set up a meeting today! 


Source: https://www.rd.com/list/internet-security-how-not-to-get-hacked/


Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-using-stylus-pen-for-touching-the-digital-tablet-screen-6335/

 

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Threats are real, and every professional plays a roll in mitigating risks for their organization, less they fall prey to endless schemes and assaults.


Managing a team also means managing their data security, if you’re one of those lucky enough to operate a group of individuals you understand this perfectly well. If there’s one bad link the entire chain will break, and you’re not about to let it be yours.


Keeping yourself and your employees educated and up to date about changes in technology and today’s latest cyber scams is imperative. Here’s some quick tips on how to do just that.


Don’t sell yourself short. “Many forensic experts claim that the majority of their victims believed that it wouldn’t happen to them.” Understanding the daily risk we take when entering the online world is the first step to avoid being targeted by a hacker. The more naïve the individual, the more attractive that user is to a bad actor.


Performing risk assessments. A risk assessment will help you (and your team) know exactly where your weaknesses lie. Maybe it’s weak use of passwords, or leaving a computer unlocked and unattended on a regular basis. Assessments are an essential step in enhancing your cybersecurity and knowing which areas need a more focused, modified approach, not every person needs the same cyber-education.


Break down office barriers. Communication is key, working closely with your IT department is pivotal to know exactly where gaps in your or your team’s security are. Some are unappreciative toward awareness training, thinking they already know or are too busy. Reinforce a company-wide initiative to getting your teams onboard and making education successful.


Emphasize accountability. Training is a fantastic tool, but it’s another thing entirely to leave employees to their own devices and trust they will notice the security breach attempt or well-worded phishing email. Make sure there is no question as to what a “next step” might be once an attempt is observed, as well as a documented reporting procedure or system to warn others what to look out for.


Give kudos and rewards. Managing a successful team and protecting their data is a tough job already, understanding that each employee has a specific roll in that success and acknowledging those individuals will incentivize them to continue their efforts.


The goal with data security is to be proactive rather than reactive. The threat of data breaches only continues to grow, the right policies, precautions, and procedures involving every member of your organization will help ensure your data stays where it belongs.


Contact us today
to schedule an appointment. 


Source: https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/category/enterprise/securityawareness/security-awareness-fundamentals/top-20-security-awareness-tips-tricks/


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If there’s no click on a link, or malicious attachment downloaded, then there’s really no chance that a bad actor can infiltrate your computer without other, more difficult means.


Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to exploit our lapses in judgement, laziness, or unwillingness to go the extra mile for our own security. On occasion however, even those who keep a weary eye out will be duped into that fateful click. Hackers are serious about their tricks.


Each year, new techniques are deployed, and public information abused in scams designed to wreak havoc on our systems and our lives.


The most commonly used, and commonly fallen for technique is the phishing email. Spear phishing is a targeted campaign designed to prey on individual characteristics, current events, disasters, or even tax season. 91% of data breaches are results of phishing, the most exploited form of social engineering. An attacker may first do their research on a company, an individual, or possibly their family, and from there create a specifically designed email with an emphasis on the attached malicious document or link.


Phishing campaigns have also become increasingly difficult to identify ranging in any aspect of life from a court notice to appear to tracking information for a UPS or FedEx package. Something easy recognizable that doesn’t immediately alert the user the information is false, it’s that simple.


Hackers are also incredibly clever, and another commonly used trick is called domain typosquatting. This is a form of URL hijacking that targets users who misspell website addresses, which is quite easy to do if in a rush. Ever type in googel instead of google? Well, there’s a malicious intent behind a misspelled website address just waiting to unleash its malware on your device. You may not even realize you’ve reached the wrong site, some are often so similar that typing in your credentials is a natural next step.


There are countless other ways a user may come across malware, but one more we’d like to discuss is what might happen when a user gives in to the temptation for free entertainment or software.  If you’ve been through just about everything on Netflix or your preferred streaming service during the pandemic, you may understand this temptation all too well, but it’s highly ill-advised. In April of this year Microsoft warned Windows 10 users due to the recent increase in cybercrime and hacking incidents that pirated streaming and torrent downloads are unleashing a storm of malicious files onto users’ computers.


Attackers across the globe watch internet traffic to identify which avenue will benefit them most, and they’re smart about it. If they believe a well-placed phishing campaign, a popular website address spoof, or a new movie download will do the trick, they may have already succeeded, hook, line, and sinker. 


An abundance of caution, anti-malware software, and continuing cybersecurity training will help keep your network and your conscience clear. Think before you click.


If you need help with cybersecurity services contact Micropac and we can help your business come up with a customized plan. 


Source: https://digitalguardian.com/blog/social-engineering-attacks-common-techniques-how-prevent-attack


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High on the list of priorities for most business holders is security, so why do 65% of leaders find that security awareness training is nearing the bottom of their to-do list?


In findings released by nVisium, recent research exploring the “current state of cybersecurity awareness and training initiatives within today’s remote workforce,” reveals only 35% classify security awareness training as ‘top priority’ while working remotely. This is odd however, when “nearly half say that their DevOps teams are not experts in understanding how to protect at home wireless networks.” Where is the disconnect?


The critical misconception is that “many organizations do not fully comprehend the critical need for implementing continuous security training initiatives, particularly during a time where corporate network attack surfaces are increasing and being exposed to millions of new endpoints.” As our lives continue to transition back and forth from office to home, shouldn’t security be pivotal?


IT teams must have the skills to implement security measures to support their remote teams, although only 18% of those surveyed, “deliver company-wide standard monthly reports on the latest security breaches and exploits, while a startling 40% say that their organization’s developers are not experts in cybersecurity.”



It seems in due time, those 40% will find themselves face-to-face with a dilemma they wish had the expertise to handle…


Policies that are under constant review and account for ongoing feedback are appreciated by employees and should be a staple for any organization. This results in the success of both.


While hybrid forms of work continue, these awareness policies need to re-assess security risks at the personal access level and review; mobile devices, IOT devices, cloud access and storage, and third-party providers.


Managing director for the Information Security Forum, Steve Durbin explains, “By helping staff understand how vulnerabilities can lead to poor decision making and errors, organizations can better manage security risks.” He then suggests a “fresh” approach to security, meaning human-centered, should be used to reduce “influence of cognitive biases that cause errors,” that can result in behavioral triggers by commonly used cyber-attack techniques. 


Training should be top priority. Employees are after all, the first line of defense. Durbin adds that psychological training can also be helpful during a security awareness campaign, reducing stress and pressure and resulting in less human error.


All It takes is one click. It can all be avoided by proper guidance.


Schedule a meeting today: https://bit.ly/3j6N897


Source: https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/93528-of-leaders-say-that-security-awareness-training-is-not-a-top-priority

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There is a line of defense often forgotten in the cubicle battlefield when it comes to cybersecurity… us. Among the never-ending rows and “Happy Birthday” posters are employees who have access to important company information, information that can be stolen with just one click, or just one download. No one wants to be THAT employee who has to tell the boss they are the one who fell for the phishing email.


To avoid being the next malware “accident” marching out the front door carrying a box and their desk plant, we have 5 cybersecurity tips to protect your data and keep you in your employer’s good graces.


Avoid pop-ups, suspicious links, and unknown emails.


Like it or not these scammers are smart, and an email might slip through the cracks that warrants a click. Think first however, would your bank really send you this? Is the email address accurate, or some strange jumble of characters you don’t recognize? Always be cautious of links and attachments in emails from people you don’t recognize, one click could mean the infiltration of your company’s network.


A good rule is: “Never enter personal or company information in response to an email, pop-up webpage, or any other form of communication you didn’t initiate.


Use strong passwords and authentication.


Your name, your dog’s name, your spouse’s name, your kids’ names, these are all good examples of bad password ideas. If it’s easy for a coworker to guess, it’s even easier for a hacker to guess. Complex passwords can stop cyberthieves from accessing company information. 10 characters including numbers, characters, capital and lowercase letters, these are ingredients for a strong password. If available, your devices and accounts should also be protected with multi-factor authentication. An additional layer of protection and easy to provide code sent to your device, if it’s really you.


Back up your files and install security software updates. 


IT best practices, are company best practices, and if your security software is needing an update, don’t put it off, an unpatched bug could be the single point of entry for a bad actor. Software is constantly updated as a response to new cyberthreats, threats that aim to steal your data. Securing and backing up your files in case of a data breach or malware attack will ensure your data remains safe, be sure to talk to your company about its backup storage protocols.


Talk to your IT department.


Your IT department is there to help, the support team are experts on information security and have the same goal in mind, data protection. If an update goes awry, or you’re unsure a pop-up or link is safe, or you’re receiving a call from a possible scammer and want to contact your help desk to be sure, IT can help.


Embrace training and education.


A little extra education can go a long way in the fight against cyber attackers. Time taken to train employees on proper cybersecurity procedures and protocols is priceless. It’s also your responsibility to know and follow your company’s cybersecurity policies and what’s expected of you, don’t be afraid to ask.


Following these tips will keep you, and your data, out of trouble.


Source: https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-cyber-security-best-practices-for-employees.html


Image Source:https://unsplash.com/photos/UiVe5QvOhao

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