Our world is constantly becoming more digitalized and more connected. This opens up many new opportunities, but it also gives rise to one big issue: Cyberattacks. With all our data, including sensitive information, uploaded to the cloud, we are at great risk to become victims of cyberattacks unless effective cybersecurity measures are implemented and continuously updated.
What are Cyberattacks?
Cyberattacks are attacks that target computers, computer systems, and computer networks. In extreme cases, cyberattacks are part of cyberwarfare or cyberterrorism. They may originate from individuals, groups, organizations, states, or anything in between.
The most common types of cyberattacks are the following:
- Phishing: Have you ever received an email, announcing that you have won an amazing prize, that you need to change your password, or have been selected to inherit money? In that case, you have experienced phishing. The aim of these emails is to steal login data and credit card information, and sometimes even malware is installed on the victim’s computer. Here is a phishing awareness quiz you can take to educate yourself further on the issue.
- Malware: The aim of malware is simply to destroy or disrupt computer systems and steal sensitive information. Viruses, spyware, worms, and adware belong in this category.
- Ransomware: This is a special type of malware (malicious software). It takes control of the victim’s computer, encrypts their data, and asks them to pay a certain price to regain access to their data. However, should you become a victim, never pay the ransom. There is no guarantee that paying will actually return your data and you’ll only fuel the cybercriminals’ motivation to continue their attacks.
You don’t want any of these infecting your computer, so pay close attention to your cybersecurity. Awareness of the dangers is already a great place to start, but you can take more measures to ensure your safety.
To keep yourself protected from cyberattacks, we have a few guidelines we advise you to follow:
- Think before you click! Most cyberattacks are spread via email, so when you receive a strange message in your mailbox from a random sender you don’t know, delete it immediately. Most email services use a spam filter to protect you against attacks, but hackers are creative, so not every attack gets caught.
- Keep your software updated! Software updates might be a pain in the ass to download, but most of the time, the updates are meant to keep you protected. So if your computer system is notifying you about a new update, don’t just click it away. It could save you from a lot of future pain.
- Back up your data regularly! Should you become the victim of a cyberattack, it will be a lot easier to solve the issue if you have a recent backup of your data. Buy an external hard drive or use a cloud service to create a copy of your computer storage once a week.
- Install powerful firewalls! Every computer usually comes with firewalls already installed. Make sure they are activated and set at their highest level of security.
Otherwise, the best strategy is to learn about the topic and stay up-to-date on developments and improvements. A great place to start the learning process is this video about cybersecurity and how to stay safe.
Cyberattacks are unlikely to disappear or decrease anytime soon; however, Companies are doing what they can to heighten their security measures continuously. In addition, technologies such as blockchain are also making it harder for hackers to attack. We haven’t yet fully incorporated blockchain technology in the DNA of the internet yet, and thus we are still at risk, so stay on your toes and #doepicsecurityupdates!