How to Protect Yourself and Your Information Online

This modern day in age, most of our live revolves around the Internet. Nowadays, Whether it is at home, at work, or out on the go, you are always close to a piece of technology. As much as we depend on those devices around us, are we really secure using them without taking proper precautions?

The answer is No. Even though you may not be specifically targeted by a hacker, you may still fall prey to the multitude of spyware, ransomware, viruses and malicious apps out there in the internet. Most of these are made for just anyone who happens to stumble onto them, and are used to then either steal information, or just do damage to data on your device.

In the past two years, hackers have started to focus their attacks towards the healthcare sectors, knowing that data in these sectors are extremely valuable. It is estimated that of all the cyber attacks in the world, 50-70% of them are aimed towards healthcare.

First I want to talk about safeguarding against Ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware attack that steals your data, encrypts it so you cannot access it, and attempts to put a price on your data, estimating how much you may want to pay for it. The only way to get your data back from an attack like this would be to just pay the ransom they are asking. However there are  two ways you can safeguard against this type of attack.

  1. Cloud Backup – as long as you have a cloud backup, you can delete the encrypted files and still have access to copies in the cloud to restore from.
  2. Preventative Software – Using software like Kaspersky’s Anti-Ransomware Tool, you can prevent your device from being taken over in the first place.

Next I would like to talk about Viruses. A Virus is a piece of software that is malicious in nature and can self replicate. It can attach itself to other pieces of software and into important files. Viruses can attack your computer as well as your smartphones. In order to safeguard against viruses you would need to install an antivirus, and to regularly make backups of the data on your device.

  1. Computer – By installing an Antivirus like Avast Antivirus(Available for both PC and Mac), also it is a good idea to create backups with Windows Restore or Apple Time Machine.
  2. Mobile Device – Avast Antivirus is also available for Android phones. Apple phones are mostly safeguarded by Apple’s IOS operating system, but frequent backups are recommended on both Apple and Android devices.

By implementing these safeguards, you are now on your way to protecting yourself and your devices.

Ben Smith, Owner & Operator of Plan A Ottawa

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