How to Avoid Cyber Attacks


How can one considerably reduce cyber security threats or prevent cyber-attacks? That is a question that you must ask yourself, either as an individual or an organization. As much as this has been a super contentious issue of late, most people still do not understand cyber security. Most people consider the unauthorized exchange of financial information to be the only type of cyber-crime out there. This assumption maybe because it is the most common form of cyber-attack. 


However, you need to understand that there are far more disquiets as far as cyber-attacks are concerned. And it does not stop here, cyber-crime is an ever-dynamic field, and it is continuously evolving and posing newer and newer threats to the market as time goes by. The internet is now an essential tool in carrying out our daily tasks, but reading about these cyber security issues, one may opt-out of the internet altogether.

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Understanding Cyber-Crimes

So what is a cyber attack? I should have started with this question. However, I did not want to scare you away just yet. A cyber crime, as you can alternatively refer to it is simply an offense that primarily takes place online. These attacks are often aimed at mobile devices and computers with the intent of exploiting, and breaching a secure network to steal or illegally access information. Some of the common cyber crimes that you may have come across as an individual may include; bullying, child sexual exploitation, harassment, cyber-stalking, revenge porn, and many more. However, on a personal level, you may not have come across some forms of cyber-attacks, such as cyberspace terrorism.


Cyber-attacks, as already explained, can be aimed at an individual, especially prominent society figures, an institution, especially one that exists in a very competitive environment or even a country informed of sabotaging infrastructure and security bodies.


Protecting Against Cyber Crime as an Individual

The internet is now an integral part of our lives that we cannot escape from using, not even for a couple of hours. Our presence online, ranging from social media platforms through online purchases to workplace logins, cannot be avoided. And since using the internet is inevitable, how can you ensure you keep yourself safe while at it? Here are a few tips to follow;


1.A Full-Scale Internet Security Suite

Targeting to keep the PCs that contain some crucial personal information about you, you need an internet security suite that guards against any malware such as viruses, ransom wares, Trojan horses, and many more in real-time. Software like Kaspersky, Norton Security, among others, always guarantees that your privacy is top-notch.


2.Strong, Unique & Hard to Guess Passwords

Especially looking at the work-space environment, it is always advisable to use unique passwords that are not linked to you in any way. Avoiding to use the same password on more than one website along with regular password changes also comes in handy in throwing off hackers. Use strong passwords that you know you’ll remember too.


3.Be Wary of Your Internet Consumption

Here it is all about common sense. When venturing into new social media platforms, ensure you manage your settings; keep your private and personal information locked up. Be careful about what you share with the public. Always keep your travel and financial plans away from other users' eyes. Be cautious when connecting to a public Wi-Fi; it is the hacker's best friend.


4.Update Both Your PCs & Home Network Securities

Other than the antiviruses, always keep your PC software updated. Cyber-crimes are always carried out by exploiting any weak spots or flaws in systems such as operating systems. Looking at the home network, you do not want your home network to turn into a public Wi-Fi now, could you? Well then, encryption, use of VPNs, and strong passwords will go a long way in curbing cyber-criminals' attempts.


5.Be Informed

Keeping yourself updated on the emerging trends on cyber securities will help you to keep your information safe as you know how to avoid these attacks. This goes hand in hand with teaching your kids, spouses, and people around you, especially at home, about cyber-crime and the internet. People around you, especially kids, are also susceptible to cyber-attacks. Issues such as stalking, bullying, and harassment can be aimed at them. Alternatively, cyber-criminals can exploit them to get to you.


6.Identity Theft

This is a form of cyber-crime that has been taken to a whole new level. This refers to when a person assumes your identity to either commit a crime or gain financially. Thus understanding how one can end up as a victim to this, one needs to keep their personal information safe. Be informed that it happens anywhere to anyone. This takes us back to keeping personal data away from prying eyes.


Protecting Against Cyber-Crime as an Institution

The steps to safety are the same as the ones discussed above, however, to mention just but a few; educate your workforce on cyber-crimes and security principles, use up to date systems that are antivirus and anti-spyware protected, use a firewall, limit employee access to crucial company information, regular password updates, secure company networks among others. As far as the government is concerned, it has vast resources to create bodies such as the National Cyber security and Communications Integration Center (NCIC) to not only flag and curb large scale but also small scale cybersecurity and communications issues.


What Comes After Cyber-Crime?

Assumingly you have become a cyber-crime victim. The first thing to do is to inform the authorities. This will help exonerate you in a court of law in case your information and credentials were used to commit a crime. Then you can go ahead to report to the other institutions such as banks to which the perpetrated fraud is linked. This will help to place fraud alerts and raise concerns to other customers who may be in imminent danger.

Cyber-crime is everyone's obligation, and do not wait until it gets to you before you start taking part in fighting it. Start now. 


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