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The year 2017 will likely conclude with a record for the number of large scale, damaging data breaches in history. From Equifax to Verizon to Yahoo, it’s clear that data and information security should be a top priority in 2018.

As a small business owner or home computer user, the scale of attacks you might face are much smaller than the companies that make the evening news. Nevertheless, the types of threats you may face and the things to look out for while you protect yourself are very similar.

The most common and successful cyberattacks are quite simple to categorize and can be mitigated significantly by a few changes in behavior. CSO details these thoroughly in their article, “The 5 types of cyber attack you’re most likely to face.”

As a countermeasure to these threats and to better protect yourself online, EVAN recommends these best practices:

  • Investigate – Many forms of data stealing malware are directly authorized for installation by the computer user. Before installing plugins, extensions, add-ons, or updates directly from your web browser, be sure you’re confident the source of the file is legitimate. If unsure, always visit the manufacturer’s website or trusted app store directly before installing these items.
  • Be skeptical Phishing emails that attempt to collect data by impersonating sites you trust are still incredibly successful and appear much more legitimate than in the past. To avoid potential fake links, navigate to the source website of the email directly before proceeding with the requested action. For an idea of what to look out for, here are the most clicked phishing emails of the past three months.
  • Update your software – Staying up to date with recent releases of your operating system, web browser, and antivirus software can significantly reduce your exposure to security risks. Hackers target older software due to the higher number of unpatched vulnerabilities and limited manufacturer support.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) – When available, enable this option! 2FA requires an additional step to log into an account, typically requiring a code that has been delivered via text message or phone app. When enabled, a user of a compromised password cannot access your account without also having possession of your mobile device or secondary credentials.

For further assistance acting on these recommendations or additional tips relating to your specific needs, please contact us.

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