The birth of the Internet remains one of the most pivotal moments in human history. In fact, the World Wide Web continues to provide people with unfettered access to information, entertainment, learning, and so much more.
Like any technology, though, it has some drawbacks, the most notable of which are cyberattacks. According to IBM, cyberattacks are unwelcomed attempts to steal, expose, alter, disable, or destroy personal and financial information through unauthorized access to computer systems.
Understanding the different types of attacks — and the stages involved — will help you defend yourself better.
Ways Cyberattacks Can Occur
Phishing attacks are attempts to steal consumers’ passwords and sensitive financial information. During these attacks, scammers create fake hyperlinks to send victims via email or text messages that appear to come from a reputable source.
Malware refers to any intrusive software developed by cybercriminals to steal data and damage or destroy computer systems. Some prominent examples include viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware.
A credential stuffing attack occurs when an attacker obtains valid log-in details for one system and then tries to compromise additional accounts/systems using the stolen information. These attacks assume that most users reuse their identities and passwords across many platforms.
4 Ways to Prevent Cyberattacks From Happening to You
1. Sensitize and Train Your Employees
Your employees are common targets for cybercriminals looking to steal data. To safeguard your company, train your employees to be wary of bogus emails that ask for personal information or access to certain files. These links can appear authentic to someone who has little or no context about phishing or how it happens.
Before clicking on any links in an email, first:
- Hover over them to view the URL.
- Examine the sender’s email address.
- Contact HR and be mindful of providing any requested information.
2. Take Wi-Fi Security Seriously
While Wi-Fi-enabled devices are seamless and effortless to use, they’re not free from cyberattacks. When connecting to a Wi-Fi network, know that any device can become infected. If yours becomes compromised, then the entire system is at risk. Thus, to safeguard yourself from attack, be mindful of not connecting any devices to public Wi-Fi networks.
3. Install a Firewall
One of the most effective strategies to defend yourself against any cyber assault is to install a web application firewall. Now, you may be asking yourself, “What is a web application firewall?” A website firewall will block any brute force attacks on your network and/or systems before they can cause damage.
A WAF, or web application firewall, helps secure online applications by screening and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. It’s most commonly used to protect web apps from hackers. When a WAF protects a web application, it establishes a barrier between the web application and the Internet.
4. Don’t Reuse Passwords
Using the same passwords repeatedly can put them all at risk if a bad actor manages to get their hands on one. That’s why you should create different passwords for each application you use to increase your security. Not to mention changing them regularly to reduce the chances of someone guessing your password from a previous one.
Keep Your Business Safe
While having burglar-proof windows doesn’t mean your home is free from all danger, having that protection in place is better than nothing. The truth is, you can never be 100% foolproof against cyber attacks. However, you can severely limit your exposure by taking these and other essential steps. Heeding this advice will increase your awareness and better safeguard yourself against cyber attacks.