Most of us are just using our devices for email and web services. Unfortunately, there are people doing a lot more than that. Not long ago, a botnet named Citadel made its way onto five million computers. Citadel began recording keystrokes and captured all kinds of personal information. Passwords, social security numbers, and more fell into the wrong hands. That particular attack lasted 18 months and managed to steal half a billion dollars from people all over the world.
Hackers build modern malicious attacks with a level of polish we’ve never seen before. As a result, it’s easy to fall for one. According to Microsoft, 50% of online adults fall victim to cybercrime. That number gets scarier when you think of it in a business setting. Half the employees at your workplace are a likely gateway into your business network.
How do you protect yourself?
With these things in mind, here are a few tips to keeping your devices secure. These steps are applicable at the business level, but there are additional layers of complexity across a business network. Consequently, security policies should be implemented and enforced by your IT department.
1. Update everything.
Make sure security updates are installed automatically. You should also enable automatic updates for third-party software wherever you can. These updates provide security patches that keep your software protected from the latest vulnerabilities.
2. Make sure your firewall is enabled.
Windows 7 and later have a built-in firewall that is turned on automatically. The firewall is there to block external communications. If an app is being blocked, you should allow access for that app only if you trust it. The solution should never be “turn off the firewall”.
3. Use current antivirus software.
We’ve seen computers that technically have antivirus software. However, the subscription expired some time ago. Out-of-date antivirus software can’t protect you from newer malicious software. Typically, free antivirus software can be procured from your internet provider.
4. Be careful with links and email attachments.
We posted an article about identifying phishing emails earlier this year. These emails contain links that take you to carefully-crafted websites. Even links you find on social media can lead to malicious sites. They emulate a known website so well that it’s difficult to tell it’s not legitimate.
5. Avoid sites with pirated and illicit content.
Many sites with this type of content also install malware or offer downloads that contain malware. Modern browsers can help protect you, but you’re better off just staying away from them altogether. Stream movies and music from sources you trust.
What About Your Office?
As cyber-attacks continue to evolve, your organization’s IT solution must evolve to meet them. Pit Crew IT Services can help bring your organization up to speed. Whether you need an IT provider or you just want to supplement your existing IT department, we offer a range of services to fit any situation. Our free consultation analyzes your current IT solution and helps you plan for the future. Get started by requesting your free consultation below.