Cybercrime is on the rise. According to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report published by the Herjavec Group, cybercriminal activity is projected to generate annual losses totaling $6 trillion worldwide by 2021. Compromised accounts, identity theft, malware, ransomware, phishing scams, viruses—together these can cripple the ability of individuals, companies, organizations, and even governments to safeguard data and conduct business.
So how can you protect yourself from cybercrime? And which of today’s IT solutions providers can best safeguard your most sensitive data?
Use Common-Sense Precautions
One of the best ways to protect your sensitive data is to use some basic common sense. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers some practical advice on protecting yourself from cybercrime.
- Be wary of unsolicited attachments, even if they seem to be from someone you know (including your internet service provider).
- Use antivirus software to scan any attachments before opening them (be sure your antivirus signatures are current).
- Disable automatic downloads of attachments.
- Use filters provided with your email to filter out spam.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and antivirus software up to date and verify the authenticity of all requests for personal information.
Stay a Step Ahead of the Criminals
Even savvy Internet users can find themselves the victims of cybercrime. For this reason, it’s recommended that you:
- Use robust passwords. The more complex your passwords, the harder it is for criminals to access your sensitive data.
- Enable your system’s firewall. Your computer comes with its own built-in protections—use them.
- Use antivirus/anti-malware software. Invest in some defensive software that can detect viruses and malicious websites.
- Activate your anti-spam blockers. Stop potentially malicious scams by blocking spammers and bots.
- Use two-factor authentication for purchases. 2FA requires users to enter a secure code before proceeding with a purchase, so even if cyber-thieves access your data, they won’t be able to complete fraudulent transactions.
- Use only secure wifi. To prevent sensitive data from being intercepted in transit, only use a secure wifi network when making purchases or transmitting sensitive data.
Invest in Cybersecurity Software
Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field, where a broad array of products strive to help users detect and block malicious attacks and cybertheft. Each product is different, and so is each customer. For example, an individual seeking protection from identity theft while making online purchases is likely to have needs that differ from those of a corporation seeking to secure intellectual property or transmit financial data. So it’s recommended that you shop around and ask questions to find the cybersecurity products and providers that best meet your needs.
Explore VPN Technology
Created to allow remote users and branch offices to access corporate applications and resources, virtual private networks (VPNs) let users transmit and receive data across shared or public networks as if their devices were directly connected to a private network. While VPNs cannot make communications completely anonymous, they are able to add a vital layer of cybersecurity. VPN authentication safeguards can keep unauthorized users away from your data—and even if your data were intercepted from a VPN, a malicious actor would only be able to view encrypted data.
Engage a Cybersecurity Consultant
For some, cybersecurity is more nuanced and requires a personal touch. An experienced cybersecurity consultant,such as Waterdog Computer Works, can evaluate your systems and network for potential vulnerabilities and make informed recommendations on products to address your most pressing concerns. A consultant can also try penetration testing your network to determine how difficult it would be for a malicious actor to gain access to your most sensitive data. Such testing can reveal any gaps in your cybersecurity protocols and can guide purchasing decisions to help close these vulnerabilities. Waterdog Computer Works can also assess and improve the strength of your network, offer cloud-based solutions for migration and storage of sensitive data, and assist in the creation of a catastrophic loss response and data recovery plan.
At Waterdog Computer Works, we work with our clients to ensure that each is equipped with a proven, effective program to protect vital data, systems, and equipment. Our seasoned professionals can assess your network, pinpoint potential vulnerabilities, and offer informed guidance on to boost your cybercrime protections. Don’t wait for cybercriminals to strike. Contact Waterdog Computer Works and discover the peace of mind that comes with complete protection.
Located in Wayne, Pa, Waterdog Computer Works is a complete IT solutions and cybersecurity provider serving businesses throughout Philadelphia’s western Main Line. Focused and responsive, Waterdog Computer Works offers a two-hour emergency response time guarantee, no-risk contracts and a team of technicians with over 75 years of combined experience. Call us at 484.580.8568 to speak to a member of our team.