Having our devices hacked can be very inconvenient as they can give hackers access to all our confidential information. Even though we have our antivirus software installed on our computers, there are many risks and vulnerabilities we can come in contact with. Every business is under constant threat from a multitude of sources. From the biggest Fortune 500 companies down to the small local business, no company is 100% safe from getting hacked. The internet has become a space full of malicious links, Trojans, and viruses. Data breaches are becoming more frequent, and unsuspecting users are more vulnerable than ever before. When one click can cost thousands or even millions, all users need to be aware of the most critical cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities currently happening worldwide. This will help users stay alert and safe online for personal and business use. In the last year, we have seen a tremendous increase in people working from home worldwide. This has also increased the risk for cybersecurity threats due to digital connectivity beyond the traditional workplace.
Phishing attacks have changed drastically in the past year, as drastic changes have been made to our daily lives. Hackers have attempted to take advantage of the different working environments and new tools being used for work from home. In the last year, phishing attacks are increasing because they are no longer just in an email format. This problem has expanded to SMS/iMessage, social networks, collaboration platforms, videoconferencing, and gaming services. Mobile users are particularly vulnerable because of small screens. Users may not notice the phishing URL or the fake brand logo. It looks like cyber criminals will be ramping up their efforts in 2021, as businesses are anticipating an increase in COVID-19 related phishing emails. Remote work-related phishing emails are also on the rise. One method that scammers are taking advantage of working from home employees is through virtual meet-ups, like Zoom and Google calendar invites. This method can be very effective as many links are being sent out daily to tens or hundreds of invitees.
We have discussed the many ways a cyber criminal can hack our devices, but what should you do when your device is already attacked? When your email account is hacked, there are several steps you need to take to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again.
1. Check and update your computer security: Most hackers collect passwords using malware that has been installed on your computer or mobile device. No matter which operating system you use, be sure your antivirus software is up to date. Choose the setting that will automatically update your computer when new security updates are available. It is the best way to safeguard your computer against viruses and other malware types such as ransomware, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, identity theft, and more. It can help detect a problem before it becomes too big to control. Protecting yourself from viruses and lost data is much easier than it used to be and doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. An antivirus software is a must-have on any computer for business or personal use.
2. Change your password Immediately – When you change your password every few months, it limits how long a stolen password is useful to an attacker – how long he/she has access to your account. If someone steals your password and you don’t know about it, the attacker could potentially eavesdrop for an unlimited time and glean all sorts of information about you or do other damage. Therefore, for decades now, many security guidelines have recommended frequent password changes, usually between 30 to 180 days. Make sure all your passwords are strong and unique to avoid getting hacked. Whenever possible, use some form of two-factor authentication (2FA) so a cracked password won’t compromise your account. Use a password manager, so you don’t need to memorize or write down your passwords. Not only will password managers store all your passwords in an encrypted vault, but they will fill them in for you.
3. Send an email to your contacts saying you were hacked – When an email comes from someone you know, you are more likely to open it and click on links within it – even if the subject is weird. Help stop the malware spread by warning those in your contact list to be cautious of any email sent by you that doesn’t seem right and not clicking on the links.
As email threats continue to evolve, it takes cybersecurity technology to stop phishing emails and prevent phishing attacks from damaging your organization. Hackers continue to devise new forms of email phishing scams designed to trick users into wiring money to fraudulent accounts or providing confidential information. Social engineering can be very damaging, but implementing security awareness training and combining it with strong technological defences is the best way to prevent phishing attacks against your users and your organization. SEGMENTECH is a CyberArk and Check Point partner in Canada. We strongly recommend implementing an Endpoints Security on-premises, hybrid, or in the cloud. Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can assist you.