Here’s How to Prevent a Cyber Attack

Know what a cyber attack is, and then know the precautions to keep you safe!

The first thing you need to know in order to prevent a cyber attack is how they occur in the first place. For the most part, they’re the result of a hacker trying to change your computer’s behavior using various technological tactics.

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An example of a cyber attack would be an email you receive that looks like it’s from your credit card company that lures you in with an urgent subject line, then requests you to click a link in the body of the email to resolve an important issue. Clicking that link might result in a code being planted in your computer that allows hackers to steal your information. You may also be surfing the web, and be requested to download a certain file to access information you want. The download can also result in a code for stealing being implanted.

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It may sound simple, but the first way to avoid cyber attacks is to be a skeptic. Don’t just open up any email, don’t just click any link and don’t just download something because you were prompted to. Beyond that, it’s important you NEVER share any personal information via email, including bank account information. If you must share personal information, be sure it’s through a secure website. How can you know? An unsafe site will begin with http://. To be safe, you will ONLY want to use websites that start with https://.

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While it might trip you up at first, you should use different passwords for all your important sites, including email, social networking and online payment accounts. Try to avoid meaningful words, and instead opt for random text.

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Choose a good antivirus software to prevent viruses, malware, worms and Internet threats, but be sure to download it only from the software’s official website. Keep your antivirus software up to date, as well. Developers stay on top of flaws that make it easier for hackers to access your personal information. Allow automatic updates to be safe.

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If you’re using a third party computer, be sure you browse only in an incognito window, since your history will not be stored. An incognito window is simply a private window option you can select on your browser options from the drop down menu. On Google Chrome, for instance, under “File,” the third option down is an “Incognito Window.” This mode prevents Internet browsing history from being stored. Furthermore, while using a third party computer, only use an on-screen keyboard for entering any personal information, since software known as keyloggers can capture data entered by the user on the physical keyboard.

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com