Stay Protected from Cyber Attacks

While the internet has proven to be an incredible piece of technology in our daily life, it can also be the site of cyber attacks. Unfortunately, it is possible for hackers to enter into secure networks, steal information, and even commit cyber crimes. Businesses are often the main victims as they have valuable information such as the identities of employees, including social security numbers. In fact, according to Symantec/NCSA research from their most recent study, cyber attacks have cost small and medium-sized businesses over $180,000 in damages and almost 2/3 of these victimized companies have been forced to go out of business because their losses. While businesses need to be protected, home networks need to be protected as well. Often, because people might not think that home networks are targets for cyber attacks, not enough security goes into keeping their network safe and secure. Here are some steps on how to protect your home and business networks from cyber attacks. 

One of the most important and easiest things to do in order to secure your home network is to secure your wireless router. To do this, change the name of your router from the default ID that your service provider gives to you. Make it something unique that won’t be easily guessed. Then, change the pre-set password that was originally put on your router. Your new password should be a mix of numbers, symbols, and letters. Routers have different levels of security so, if possible, opt for the more secure ones. The WPA2 or the WPA is more secure than the WEP option. If you have many guests, it may be a good idea to set up a guest network with its own guest password so your password is not given out. Finally, be sure to create a firewall. This will prevent hackers from using your computer to send out any personal information to other locations without your permission.

In order to help secure your business, be sure to encrypt all data. Businesses store valuable information such as credit card accounts, bank routing digits, and employee social security numbers. This valuable information should be encrypted so that hackers can’t get to it. Another option that not many businesses consider is to physically secure your hardware. Often, burglars break into a business and steal electronic equipment, which they then proceed to hack into. Physically locking computers to a desk will make it much harder for a burglar to get away with your computers. You can also consider getting tracking software so that if your computers do get stolen, you will be able to track down where it is. Spending some extra time following these steps will make personal information less likely to be stolen, and prevent cyber attacks.

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The New Bill that will Protect you Against Cyber Attacks

Recently, the Federal government announced that cyber threats were the most dangerous threats to the security of our nation – even more so than terrorism. This statement should not come as too much of a surprise especially after large scale cyber attacks that occurred to a number of private companies in the United States within recent months. In order to help combat, a new bipartisan bill has been offered by leaders of the House Intelligence Committee. The bill is offered in attempt to make it easier for companies who have experienced cyber-threats to share their newfound information with the government in an effort to help prevent further attacks.

The bill promises to both protect civil liberties while helping the government be prepared to combat against hackers. The bill does not allow for the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency that is a part of the intelligence community to target an individual person for surveillance. The idea of the bill is not to take away civil liberties, but instead, it is to ensure that government agencies will have more knowledge as to how hacks occurred so that may be able to prevent future ones from happening. It is important to know how to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Private companies who have experienced threats of an attack or an actual attack would be able to report these findings to civilian agencies as opposed to directly to government agencies. However, once the information is with civilian agencies, any information acquired can then be shared with the government. In the past, businesses have been reluctant to share information regarding cyber attacks to the government for fear of consumers suing them. However, the bill offers some protection to companies from lawsuits that may arise. This is all in an effort to have the government access more information about the type of hacks that are occurring. With more information, they can presumably be more prepared for a future attack. The bill may reach the House floor sometime in April.