What Would You Pay for Your Privacy?

Media Division | January 11, 2017

There can be a wealth of valuable data that is stored on our computers.  From taxes and baby pictures, to confidential information in the case of a business.  With the wide range of data that we rely on technology for safekeeping, a cyber attack can be extremely detrimental.  One of the most common types of cyber attacks is ransomware, which will encrypt your data and hold it hostage until a fee is paid.  A general ransom can be around $300-$600, and it could be much larger for businesses.  Phishing emails are typically the method used to infect computers with this malicious software.  Fortunately, there are ways to protect your data from these types of attacks.

The Costs of Properly Protecting Your Information

The costs of implementing proper cyber security can vary greatly.  Depending upon whether it is a home network, or business network, there can be different considerations to keep in mind.  As a plus, a large part of cybersecurity can be fortified simply by adjusting and following best practices.  This could include such things as:

● Be Wary of Attachments and Links in Emails and Texts – As stated previously, phishing is a very common way for cyber threats to enter systems.  If you suspect the legitimacy of an email or text from a retailer or friend that contains a link or attachment, go straight to the source and find out from them whether it is valid or not.  This step for businesses would also include educating employees upon the dangers and characteristics of phishing emails.

● Password Security – There is an old joke about people setting their password as “password.”  And while some have actually done this, it is an infrequent occurrence, but what is frequent is unsecure passwords in general.  Many people will use dates, names, or other easily remembered information, which can make it easier for hackers to crack them.  Even though complex passwords can be hard to remember sometimes, they can raise security significantly.  Generally, passwords that contain a mix of lowercase, uppercase, special characters, and numbers are going to be the hardest to crack.

● Regular Back Ups – Regularly backing up your system, and keeping a recent backup offsite allows you to have a way to restore your data if you are subject to an infection.

● Maintaining Software – The initial purchase of proper security software can be somewhat costly, but being lackadaisical in this area could lead to significant damage.  Security software can be the first line of defense against threats, and can prevent them from entering your system.  Maintaining software also includes updating your operating system and browsers.  Updates can often contain important security patches that address potential exploits, so always install updates when they become available.

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