Cyber Crime is a Real Threat to Minnesota Businesses; Here’s How To Fight it
Living in the internet age you’re likely familiar with the term “cyber-crime”. Cyber-crimes are essentially just criminal activities carried out through computers or the internet. Cyber breaches are extremely serious concerns that cost American businesses on average, $7 million in 2016. What’s even more concerning is that the frequency and prevalence of cyber crime is on the rise. A list of cybercrime statistics was provided in late 2016 by IBM, and the facts are concerning:
In 2019 the global cost of crimes committed through the internet and computers will reach nearly $2 trillion. That is up from $500 billion in 2015.
2016 saw a 38% increase in cyber attacks from 2015.
Nearly 50% of small and medium-sized businesses reported being the victim of cyber-crime between 2015-2016.
Only 38% of businesses surveyed by ISACA believe they are prepared for a cyber attack.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Luckily there are many resources to small, medium and large businesses to help protect themselves from cyber crime and attacks. The FBI cyber division has a list of tips dedicated to helping computers from dangerous and costly cyber attacks:
Use a firewall
Firewalls block access to your computer from hackers and individuals who may try to sneak inside. Usually this is built into the operating system, but it only works if it is turned on. Make sure yours is active!
Keep your computer up to date
Updates to patch and fix security vulnerabilities are released frequently. It is critical to keep your operating system up to date in order to effectively fight cyber attacks.
Install antivirus and anti-spyware software
Viruses and malware are some of the biggest causes of cyber attacks and are commonly used as the weapon of choice for hackers. Having software to block these files from entering your PC is critical to keeping cyber attacks away.
Spyware is software installed onto your computer which can allow others to see what you are doing on your computer, what you have stored on your computer, and collect information on your usage without any consent or warning. Having software dedicated to preventing spyware is important is it is typically presented differently from malware and requires a different set of tools to identify.
Pay attention to your download’s and browsing behavior.
Downloading email attachments without looking closely or scanning them first is one of the most common ways viruses and spyware make it onto computers. Pay close attention to what you are downloading. If the context is strange, the file looks odd or has a strange name, scan the file before downloading it or avoid it altogether.
Shut your computer down when you are finished using it.
Leaving your computer turned on means it is constantly connected to the internet. This causes the computer to be more susceptible to attacks. Turning off the computer literally severs the connection any hacker needs to get into your computer without physically being present.
Following these tips will help you keep your computer and information safe from prying eyes. When you are ready to upgrade your computer or mobile device, contact PROSHRED’s Minnesota branch for highly secure media destruction services to ensure no one can ever use your old devices to collect your information.