How to Prevent Cybercrime

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Cybercrime, especially in the past few years, has been in the news more and more often. From the Equifax data breach that exposed millions of people’s personal information, to malware that crippled an oil pipeline, to ransomware that locked local governments and hospitals out of their technology, it’s hard to escape the effects of it. Fortunately, knowing how to prevent cybercrime comes down to several common sense and easy-to-follow steps. 

Steps on How to Prevent Cybercrime

how to prevent cyber crime through 6 steps with Record Nations

These steps on how to prevent cybercrime are effective for both protecting your business and personal data. These days, they are often intertwined. 

Updating Software on Time

While it’s certainly tempting to put off an update for your phone, computer, or tablet, you really shouldn’t. A lot of these updates, particularly small ones, tend to be tailor-made to deal with a specific security threat or weakness. 

Strong Passwords

It can be a pain to remember every password and a combination of numbers and symbols. However, it’s vital to account for security. Password breakers can break through simple passwords in just a few hours. Creating a strong password can make you virtually immune from this threat. 

Only Open Attachments from Verified and Trusted Senders

When criminals are phishing or spear phishing, they’ll often include an attachment or link in the email. Before you click on the link or download the file, make sure that the sender is who they say they are. 

Protect Your Personal Information

The more someone knows about you, the easier it is for them to gain access to your accounts. You can protect your personal information by ensuring your social media settings are private. Additionally, be careful about what you share online or over the phone. 

Be Careful with Public Wi-Fi

Unless your data plan includes an unlimited hotspot, you’ll likely need to use public Wi-Fi from time to time. While you should avoid it when you can, sometimes it’s inevitable. So, when you do need to use public Wi-Fi, don’t enter any private information into applications or websites. If possible, use a virtual private network (VPN), to encrypt your data that runs through the public network. 

Run an Antivirus Software and Update it Regularly

While most computers now come installed with some form of virus software and firewall, it’s also best to run a dedicated antivirus software. There are several reputable options, and once you pick one, make sure to keep it updated. Antivirus software updates frequently to deal with new threats as they emerge. If you’re not updating, you’ll be missing the full protection. 

Common Types of Cybercrime

In addition to these steps, knowing how to prevent cybercrime also comes down to knowing more about it. Cybercrime comes in various forms. In many cases, attackers will use several different methods at once to try and achieve a breakthrough. 

When most people think of cybercrime, they often imagine a man dressed in black, furiously typing code into a computer to break through their defenses. And while this sort of hacking does exist, it’s a less common form of cybercrime than people think.  

Phishing and Spear Phishing Know the most common types of cyber crime and prevent it with Record Nations

One of the most common and effective forms of cybercrime is phishing. In a phishing attempt, hundreds, or even thousands, of emails will be sent to whatever email addresses they can find. While these are often clumsy, some can be convincing, and they will typically ask you to either download a file or visit a link, either of which can then compromise your information and accounts. 

Spear phishing is a targeted variant of phishing, where a criminal will tailor an email, text, or other form of communication to an individual, typically someone they perceive as having access within a company or organization.  

Malware and Ransomware

These two types of malicious software are typically designed to inhibit your computer in some way. Malware typically aims to infiltrate your system to steal data, information, and/or money. It can come from a variety of sources, but the most common two are a breach in an organization’s cyber-security, or through someone downloading content that contains the malware. 

Ransomware is similar to malware, but the goal of ransomware differs. Once ransomware enters the system, it typically locks every user out and renders the system unusable. To fix it, cybercriminals will hold the fix for ransom, requiring the company to pay it before unlocking the system. 

DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks aim to overload an organization’s or individual’s network or servers. In a DDoS attack, a criminal group or individual will spam the server or network with connection requests, which aim to take the network offline by the sheer volume of requests. 

Extortion and Blackmail

Extortion and blackmail as cybercrime tend to come through phishing, where an individual or group misrepresents themselves to extract confidential or embarrassing information from an individual. They then use this information to either extract money from the individual or to try and force them to reveal confidential or proprietary information. 

How Cybercrime Impacts Businesses and Individuals

The impact of cybercrime on the economy is immense and growing, which makes knowing how to prevent it even more important. Identity fraud accounted for $56 billion lost in 2020 alone, and the group Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2025, it will cost the world $10.5 trillion a year. In addition to the financial cost to businesses and individuals, being a victim of cybercrime can impact an organization or individual’s reputation. 

What to Do if You’re Impacted by Cybercrime

If you become a victim of cybercrime, there are solutions. In the United States, you should report the crime to the FBI’s cyber crime division, which can investigate and give you steps to follow to help you minimize the damage.  

In the UK or EU, you can report cybercrime to Action Fraud and Europol, respectively. They will be able to outline what your next steps should be for your specific case, and investigate the crime. 

Know How to Prevent Cybercrime With Record Nations!

Record Nations partners with a nationwide network of business technology providers that can help keep your data secure. Our providers are experts at providing companies and individuals with affordable and reliable scanning, document management, and storage solutions. Give us a call today at (866) 385-3706, or fill out the form and we’ll find a solution for storing and protecting your data that works for you in just minutes. 

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