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Cyber security protection

How to keep you and your business safe
How to protect your home and business from cyberattacks
How to protect your home and business from cyberattacks(GRAY-TV)
Updated: Jun. 30, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

Cyber-attacks are happening at an alarming rate, and it’s important to know whether your home or business is properly protected.

The recent cyberattacks on the Colonial pipeline and meat processing company, JBS USA, shows that even large corporations are susceptible to cyberattacks without proper protection.

According to Davis Hart, the Senior Systems Analyst for the city of Dothan, “that was a set of highly trained individuals, a team more than likely, that had been working on this for a while and then decided to enact their plan.”

Harts says those large scale cyberattacks are the most common, but smaller businesses still need to make sure their networks are secure.

“Hackers do kind of have a moral code or a moral compass. They’re not going after the smaller businesses. However, there are some out there from other countries that are more willing to do it for monetary value. They’ll try to scam you; they’ll try to get your social security information to open a line of credit somewhere,” Hart said.

Communication is the first step – reminding employees to always be cautious and ask questions before clicking on any odd links.

Proper maintenance is also key to protection.

Hart says “always update your systems.

“Always make sure that your firmware and the hardware that runs everything has the latest updates or the latest patches,” he continued.

According to study done by the Clark School at the University of Maryland, 95% of cyber-attacks occur because of human error.

By making sure your home is equipped with the right tools, you can also help protect your personal data.

Todd Swartzman with RealTime-IT says, “it’s easy to break into home networks because the equipment people buy for their houses, their wireless routers and things like that, they’re all insecure.”

Many of the cost-efficient routers sold at stores lack a firewall to protect your home network, so you should ask an employee to check if it has one before you buy it.

Your home computer should also have the latest software necessary to keep your information secure.

“At the home level, you’re typically running a good antivirus. These days it’s called ‘nextgen antivirus (NGAV).’ It has some good intrusion detection capabilities and can pick off the more advanced attacks right away. You want to keep things up to date,” Swartzman said.

Arguably the most important thing you can do to protect yourself online is having a strong password.

Swartzman recommends writing down your passwords in a secure location so you won’t forget them.

“Don’t use the same password for your home computer that you use for your email that you use for your online banking, because you’re probably making it an easy to remember password, and just assume your credentials have been breached at some point and publicized.”

And monitor your accounts for any unusual activity.

“Most of your banks now will allow you to shut your debit cards off temporarily or permanently. Make sure you follow those paths to shut everything down,” recommended Hart.

If you notice any unusual activity with any of your accounts, you may also call your local law enforcement agency to file a report.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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