Our home computers, cell phones and other gadgets are in danger every single second of the day. Cyber threats can rip anyone’s life to shreds. Now imagine, a whole country being demolished by the same threats affecting one’s home devices; what a catastrophe. Even President Obama stated that these cyber threats are some of the most pressing challenges that the United States faces as a country in regards to security and the economy.
For the first time in history, the U.S. will be utilizing a tool to combat traitorous cyber threats. This tool, signed by President Obama is an executive order that authorizes the Treasury Secretary in consultation with the Attorney General and Secretary of State to impose sanctions on those that participate in “malicious cyber-enabled activities”.
These sanctions are tailored to be enforced on those – whether directed against critical infrastructure, companies, or citizens– that are seen as a threat to the national security, foreign policy, personal privacy, or financial stability of the U.S. The hope, as reporter Fred O'Conner stated, is to not only help prevent, but as well, respond to cyber-attaches accruing more frequently in today’s world.
The primary focus will be on cyber threats overseas. President Obama demonstrated that the majority of these cyber-attacks have been originated abroad. These have been targeted to disturb businesses, steal trade secrets and in the end, result in the loss of American jobs. Personal and corporate information are tied together. Anyone can be affected by a cyber-attack that spreads like a leach.
Even though the government is taking dynamic steps in preventing and responding to cyber threats that affect the security, foreign policy, economy and private privacy of those living in the United States, it is important to take measures in protecting yourself as well.
By working closely with your local tech firm you could prevent some of these cyber-attacks. Additionally, we suggest the proactive tips below to be more protected:
1. Keep eyes peeled when using e-mail services
One of the most common ways cyber attackers attempt to infect your device is through your email. Make sure that when you receive an email, you don’t click on the link provided unless you confirm with the sender, a personal friend or family member that they meant to include it in the message. If you receive an email from a retailer, and the email comes with an attachment do not open the attachment. Instead contact the retailer first hand and confirm that the email was sent from them; it is uncommon for retailers to provide attachments in their emails. As well, make sure to turn off the option that automatically downloads attachments when you open an email. In addition, remember that providing personal information through email, even over the phone, is not recommended.
2. Change passwords and make them strong
If it can be avoided, do not use common words, phrases or even personal information when creating a password. Try to update passwords regularly and remember to store them in a safe place (for example, a physical address book or calendar)
3. Set time away to monitor credit card statements
By any chance someone has already infected your computer, and has somehow navigated themselves to your credit card information, it is always important to keep an eye out on your credit card statements. This way you can stop and resolve a cyber-attack so they do not continue to affect you in such an economic form. As well, it is recommended to have real-time alerts.
4. Pay attention to web URLs
If unknown links or requests are sent after opening a page, make sure not to click or answer if they are suspicious. Note that, malicious websites sometimes use common spelling or a different domain (for example, .com instead of .net) to deceive unsuspecting computer users into their trap.
5. Keep your operating system, browser, anti-virus and other critical software up to date
If by any chance you need an expert advice or assistance with tech security and PC repairs, contact Geeks on Site for timely and personable service.