Cyber Security: What is it and how can I protect myself

Hello, My name is David Malsam and I am the Senior Sales Account Executive/IT Analyst for our Aberdeen location.

Cyber Security is defined as techniques, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. We have heard of data breaches from companies like Target, Equifax and Ebay. The thing to remember is that the bad guys don’t just target the big companies, smaller companies and many homes are just as susceptible to this threat.

I have had the Cyber Security conversation with many people over the years, and whenever the topic comes up I can see dollar signs in the customer’s eyes. People are relieved to find out that they can protect themselves from the bulk of these attacks without it costing a penny, we just need to use a few simple techniques.

Social Engineering is the most common type of Cyber Security attack, and it is also the easiest to prevent. Social Engineering is the act of trying to deceive or manipulate an individual into divulging information for fraudulent purposes. This attack can take many shapes. It can appear to be an email from FedEx with tracking information for a package that you didn’t order, or it can be an email with from a travel agency with an itinerary for an extravagant trip that you didn’t plan. Recently I have heard of many people getting a call from an agent that claims to be from Microsoft and they tell the user that their computer is infected and if the user would share their credit card number the agent will help remove the virus from the computer. I have even heard of people going door to door pretending to be from an insurance company and they just need to get some of your personal information to get you a quote on an insurance policy to save you some money.

How can you avoid being a victim?

Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, and visits. If you do receive an unsolicited phone call, email, or visit, take the time to verify that the person that has contacted you is with the organization that they identify themselves with. This might involve doing some independent research to contact the customer service department of the company in question. The old adage of “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” definitely applies to Social Engineering prevention.

David – Senior Sales Account Executive/IT Analyst

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