Cyber Security Know The Enemy

Linda LaitalaBusiness, ManagementLeave a Comment

Your heart rate increases, your palms get sweaty and your eyes are glued to the message on the computer screen:

Federal Bureau of Investigation   

Location: Your Country Here
IPS: Your ISP Here
Your PC is blocked due to at least one of the reasons specified below.


This is an example of ransomware and you’ve just been hacked.

How “connected” are we – communication (email and cell phones) entertainment (digital cable and mp3s), transportation (car engine systems, airplane navigation), shopping (online stores, credit cards), medicine (equipment and records), the list goes on.  It begs the question – Where is your information stored and how well is it protected?

Cyber security involves protecting your information by preventing, detecting and responding to attacks.

There are many risks today, some are more serious than others.  Among the dangers:

  • viruses erasing your entire system
  • someone breaking into your system and altering files
  • someone using your computer to attack others
  • someone stealing your credit card information and making unauthorized purchases

How do you protect your cyber life?

Begin by recognizing the risks and becoming familiar with the terminology:

This malicious code requires you to actually do something before it infects your computer.  It could be as simple as opening an email attachment or going to a particular web page

Worms spread without you doing a thing.  They typically start by exploiting a software vulnerability (a flaw that allows the software’s security policy to be violated), then once your computer is infected the worm will find and infect other computers.  They spread through email, web sites or network-based software.

Trojan horses
A Trojan horse program is software that claims to be one thing but does something entirely different behind the scenes.  For example, a program that claims it will speed up your computer may actually be sending confidential information to a remote system.

Hacker, attacker, intruder
These terms are applied to people who attempt to exploit weaknesses in software and computer systems for their own gain.  Sometimes their intentions are benign and motivated solely by curiosity, but their actions are in violation of the intended use of the system they invade.  The results can range from mere mischief to malicious activity (stealing and altering information)

A type of malware installed on a computer without your knowledge.  It’s used to collect private information about internet interaction: keystrokes, passwords and other valuable data.  It can affect a computer’s performance by changing settings, reducing connection speeds, changing homepages and even disrupting network connection.

Next week:  Be proactive!  Steps you can take to keep your information safe.

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