Image Source If you’ve never had a computer virus before, you’re very lucky. Cybercrime is on the rise and everyone is being targeted, whether you’re a big businesses or a ten-year-old who’s just got their first laptop. It’s more important than ever to protect yourself against cybercrime. Here are some of the ways you can beat the hackers! Install antivirus software If you don’t have any antivirus software installed, you will get viruses. Anti-virus software can tell you which suspicious sites not to go on, which emails not to open, as well as eliminating malware and blocking hacks. Businesses dealing with sensitive information from clients and employees should seek more advanced security. For example, Ransomware can be deflected with disaster protection, prevention, and recovery with Infrascale. Encrypt files Sensitive documents, photos and files can all be encrypted. This makes them impossible to view by hackers unless they have the password to decrypt the files. Some users may encrypt all their files. This can be easily done from your computer or by downloading further software. Change passwords regularly The most common way a hacker will get into your computer is by knowing or guessing your password. Keep your passwords strong and change them regularly. Don’t give out passwords by email or text where they could be intercepted by someone. Generally, whenever you change passwords an email will be sent to your account – look out for password changes that weren’t your doing and report them as soon as possible. Steer clear of suspicious websites, emails and ads As already discussed, most digital security software will warn you of suspicious behaviour. This means following the warnings – if your security software warns you not to click on a website, don’t click on it. Similarly some ads may look suspicious, including huge false webpage pop-ups that tell you that your computer is full of viruses or ads telling you that you’re the millionth visitor and that you’ve won a prize (does anyone fall for these?). Clicking on these could lead you to a website hosting viruses and malware that could download automatically onto your computer. Hyperlinks in emails from unknown sources should also not be clicked on as these too could lead to potentially malicious websites. Generally you’ll find these kind of emails in your spambox. Scanning tools can tell you whether they are harmful to stop you from opening them. Hire cyber insurance If you’re a business guarding lots of important account details, cyber-insurance might be worth pursuing. This way if sensitive material belonging to clients and employees is stolen, you can compensate any losses they may receive (and deflect any lawsuits for negligence!). Getting hacked is enough of a headache without having to then make payments to customers and staff. Keep some stuff physical If you’ve previously been attacked by hackers and feel your files might be especially under threat, consider which ones need to be stored digitally and weather some can be purely physical. A password list, for example, might be better stored physically. This way, if someone infiltrates your computer (or burgles your PC) they won’t have access to important files and accounts. Keep this password list secure.