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You can’t miss the latest cyber crime that’s all over the news about the hacker who gained access to 100 million Capital One credit card applications and accounts. That’s just one story.

There’s also the recent report about a Florida city paying $600,000 in Bitcoins to a hacker who took over local government computers after an employee clicked on a malicious email link three weeks ago. Riviera Beach officials voted to pay 65 Bitcoins to the hacker who seized the city’s computer systems, forcing the local police and fire departments to write down hundreds of daily 911 calls on paper.

If you gloss this over thinking, “We’re not a big bank or government agency – no one would be interested in hacking us”, you’d be wrong. There are plenty of similar stories to share where individuals and small businesses have also been victimized. Equal opportunity criminals operate on the dark web 24/7 to access to information that they sell to others or use against you themselves.

Sometimes it’s your best-intentioned employee who’s doing you in. Haven’t we all been tempted to click on one of those ‘realistic’ emails? Information can also be given out via social media, unaware that it is being culled by cyber criminals. Don’t despair, you’re not defenseless! Here are four things you can do today:

  1. Lock your computer. If you are going to be away for more than 10 minutes, lock it.
  2. Make passwords a top priority. They should be complex and changed often.
  3. Practice the hover technique. If an email looks suspicious, hover the cursor over it to be certain the sender is authentic. If questionable, do not open it!
  4. Use two-factor authentication. Strengthen login security by requiring a second piece of information – a second factor beyond your password.

Finally, make sure you have a backup! If the city mentioned above had a tested, restorable backup, they wouldn’t find themselves dealing in the Bitcoin trade today. Not sure how reliable your backup protection is? Have you practiced a backup/restore lately?

Call us at 888-523-2568 if you want to talk about backup best practices – we’re here to help!