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Cyber Threats

Cyber threats continue to increase in complexity and attempts.  As we've been forced to take our lives more virtual because of COVID-19, our homes, schools, medical offices, government offices, and businesses rely heavily on the virtualization of records and operations.  This site will provide some baseline information on these threats, how to protect yourselves, and what you should do if you become a victim of one of these attacks.

Cyber Attack Fundamentals​
  • Cyber attacks come in many forms and effect you in different ways

  • Malware is the parent term to describe any number of malicious software attacks.  They include ransomware, viruses, spyware and others.  These block or disrupt access to your data, installs additional unwanted programs, obtain keystroke or other data you enter and sends back to the attacker.

  • Ransomeware is a common cyber attack that locks down your computer systems and demand a monetary payment in order to release your data.  Typically these come in the form of an email attachment or file download from an unknown or unverified source.

  • Phishing is a method scammers use to acquire personal information from you.  If you weren't aware you had a long lost rich uncle that recently passed and has millions to give you, don't give the person on the other end of the call, text or email your personal info.  

  • Denial-of-service attacks flood systems, servers, websites, etc. with extremely high volumes of traffic that overload those systems thus denying others access.

Tips on Avoiding Cyber Attacks

  1. Acquire and keep updated antivirus protection for your all your devices

  2. Keep your computers, servers and other device software and operating systems updated

  3. Backup your files to an external hard drive or flash drive frequently

  4. Keep off of public Wifi or use a VPN to access your data if you have to be on one

  5. Have a good password (characters, numbers, symbols, upper/lowercase) and change it regularly

  6. Use two-factor authentication for apps, accounts, etc.

  7. Never download attachments from emails without authenticating its origination, especially if you aren't expecting the email.

  8. Never click on links without verifying the link address is correct.  You can hover over a hyperlink and see where it will actually take you.  

  9. Never give out personal info over email, text or phone call unless YOU initiated the communication.  

  10. If you get a message from someone you know, but it seems out of place or out of line from typical interactions, reach out to that person using a different method to verify they sent you the message.

  11. Don't post your personal business all over social media!  Not everyone needs to know where you live, where you work, what days you'll be on vacation, etc.  This info can be used by criminals to exploit you in communications.

How to Respond to a Cyber Attack

  1. Attempt to disconnect the infected device from all others.  Put it in Airplane Mode, turn off Wifi, disconnect from the internet, modems and routers.

  2. Enter Safe Mode if one is available on your device

  3. Verify your internet browser's homepage hasn't changed without your consent

  4. Clear your internet browser's cache (history, cookies, cache, etc.)

  5. Utilize a security software to run a scan on your systems to identify and hopefully remove the threat.

  6. Look into acquiring a ransomware decryption software to decode the encrypted files.

  7. Notify law enforcement

Information procured from various sources such as Norton, Kaspersky, Forbes, DHS & FEMA

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