4 Common Cyber Attacks And How To Prevent Them
A cyber attack is any malicious activity that involves the use of technology to disrupt or damage a computer network, system, program, or data.
In this article, we will look at how cyber-attacks work and discuss some of the methods used by hackers to infiltrate computer systems and networks. We will also describe how you can minimize the risk of a cyber-attack, including using encryption, firewalls and other security measures.
Types Of Cyber Attacks
There are many types of cyber-attacks, but here are some of the most common:
Malware is software designed to disrupt computer systems or gather sensitive information from users. Viruses are an example of malware. Malware often uses social engineering techniques such as phishing emails or pop-ups to trick users into downloading it onto their computers without their knowledge or consent.
Once installed on your machine, malware can record keystrokes, and steal passwords and personal data including banking details and credit card numbers. It can also cause damage to files or delete data.
Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing files on their computer to extort money from them by holding their data hostage until they pay a ransom fee to regain access.
For example, a typical ransomware attack starts with an email sent by someone posing as a legitimate company or person. The message will tell you there’s something wrong with your computer (for example, it may say that you have a virus) and directs you to a website where you can download software that will fix the problem.
Once you download this “software,” your computer becomes infected with ransomware software that encrypts all of your files – photos, documents and other important files – before locking them behind an electronic key only accessible by paying the hacker for their services.
Phishing is the most common form of social engineering, which is a form of deception intended to extract private information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. In phishing attacks, hackers try to get personal information by pretending to be someone else to trick you into trusting them.
Common phishing attacks include:
Emails that contain links to fake websites that have been created to look like the real thing in an attempt to trick you into giving away your login credentials for an online account. These emails usually contain some kind of incentive for you to click on a link to access something valuable (such as a prize or money).
Some phishing emails will show up as legitimate messages from companies or government agencies asking you to confirm personal information such as your Social Security Number or bank account number. Other times they’ll simply ask you to update your account information with them so they can “verify”.
A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users.
Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks or credit card payment gateways. The goal of such an attack is to disrupt the victim’s ability to operate, hence denying service to legitimate users.
Users visiting the targeted site will find that they can connect but are unable to access some parts of the site. This may be intentional if the attack is being used as a demonstration of incompetence.
How To Prevent Cyber Attacks
Here are seven tips for preventing cyber-attacks:
Install Antivirus Software
It is one of the simplest methods to protect your computer from all kinds of malware, viruses and Trojans. Most antivirus software works by detecting malicious files and removing them from your system automatically. However, it is better to keep updating your antivirus software with fresh virus signatures so that it can detect new threats easily.
Keep your software up to date
Make sure all operating systems are up-to-date, including browsers, drivers and software programs like antivirus software or Microsoft Office applications that may not be automatically updated by default on some devices.
Use two-factor authentication whenever possible
Use two-factor authentication (2FA) on all accounts that support it. 2FA is an extra layer of protection that requires more than just your password to log in, it typically involves entering a code sent to your phone or generated by an app.
Use strong passwords
This is probably the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from cyber-attacks. It is also one of the easiest ways to safeguard your data from hackers, who try to guess or steal passwords through phishing emails and malware-laden websites. Make sure your passwords contain at least 12 characters with upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
If possible, use a unique password for every site you visit so that if one account is other accounts remain safe. Also, make sure you change your passwords frequently too – ideally once every couple of months at least.
Don’t click suspicious links or e-mails
It is always smart to be wary of links sent by people who are not friends or family members. If you receive an email with a link that looks like it might be malicious, don’t click on it.
Even if you do have antivirus software on your computer, it won’t always detect every threat.
Use Firewall Software
A firewall is a computer security program that monitors and controls network traffic (both incoming and outgoing) by allowing or disallowing access based on certain rules.
It helps protect against unauthorized access by blocking or allowing only authorized communications through ports or networks. Most of the operating systems come with default firewall settings that are enabled.
Harden your network perimeter
The best way to prevent breaches and stop hackers from getting into your network is by hardening your network perimeter that is making sure that only authorized users can access sensitive systems and data.
Hopefully, this article provides a good overview of the most common types of cyber attacks, what they look like, and how you can prevent them.