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What are some Common Cyber Threats?

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Alex Dopazo

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Cyber threats have been a serious problem for years, but they’re even more of a risk now that online businesses have become so common. To avoid falling victim, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the most common cyber threats out there. If you’ve been involved in online business for a while, then you’ve probably heard of terms like ransomware, malware, and DDOS attacks. But what do these terms actually mean?

What is a DDOS Attack?

The letters in DDOS stand for Distributed Denial of Service. A DDOS attack occurs when a hacker floods a network or system with so much traffic that it makes certain resources unavailable. In most cases, the desired outcome of this type of attack is to bring down the infrastructure of the network, or even the website as a whole. 

What is Malware?

Malware isn’t a cyber threat in and of itself. Rather, it’s a term used to encapsulate an entire category of cyber threat. Any software designed with the intent of causing disruption or harm to  a website, software, network, server, client, etc., is considered malware. Malware is short for “malicious software” and is at the root of almost all cyber threats. 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a specific type of malware. Hackers use ransomware is used to access someone’s personal information, like banking information, social security numbers, and more. Once they have this information, they send a threat to the victim stating that unless they pay a specific amount, the hacker will leak this information to the public. Other, more simplistic types of ransomware involve the hacker locking the user out of their own device and refusing to let them access it again until the victim completes the payment. 

Are Cyber Threats Limited to Computers?

While it’s most common for cyber attackers to use desktop or laptop computers, things like your router and switches can also be at risk. Anything that is hooked up to the digital infrastructure can be affected by DDOS attacks especially. If something has an IP address, it could be at risk (though attacking it is often more difficult). 

How can I Decrease my Risk of a Cyber Attack?

While there’s no way to guarantee that you’re safe from a cyber attack, there are a few things you can do to decrease your risk. For starters, you could talk to an IT professional or your network provider and ask them how to view how many IP addresses are on your router. 

Another step you could take is to make sure you have passwords that are difficult to decrypt. Things like birthdays, phone numbers, or your home address should never be part of your passwords, as they are one of the first things a hacker will try when they’re attempting to crack it. 

About Blog Author

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Alex Dopazo

In 1998, Alex Dopazo, joined his father at the agency and fell in love with insurance. It sounds corny, yes, but we love insurance and how it can help our customers. Together we share that love with all of our customers who eventually become friends.

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