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What Is a Cyber Attack? Understanding What You Are Doing to Cause Them

People commit a variety of crimes, from white-collar crime to property crimes. However, cybercrime, encompassing actions like cyber attacks—defined as unauthorized digital intrusions aimed at accessing, stealing, or damaging data—often goes overlooked due to the anonymity of its perpetrators. With the rise of cybercrime, understanding the causes of cyber attacks and implementing strategies for preventing cyber attacks is crucial. Anyone with a computer is at risk, especially as cybercrime trends in 2021 indicate an increase in such virtual attacks. Here, we answer all your questions regarding cybercrime, including its definition, causes, and prevention techniques.

What Is a Cyber Attack?

Cyber attacks are performed by cybercriminals. It is a malicious attempt to meddle with or disable a computer system.

During the attack criminals steal information prevent people from operating their devices and launch other invasions from the compromised network.

Examples of cyber threats include:

  • Phishing
  • Trojans
  • Malware
  • Botnets
  • Networking traveling worms
  • Unpatched software
  • Data destruction or manipulation

Victims range from small businesses to state government agencies. Essentially anyone with a computer is susceptible to an attack.

During the infiltration hackers gain access to stored data which they use to steal users' identities.

In 2018 29 million Facebook accounts were infiltrated by cybercriminals. The hackers accessed personal details including the users' location relationship status and search history information.

What Causes a Cyber Attack?

How do cyber attacks happen? Most of the time lax online security is the reason.

The majority of cyber attacks against individuals occur via social media. Poor password protection and publicizing personal details online make it easy for cybercriminals to infiltrate social media platforms.

Accessing personal websites via unsecured networks is another way hackers get into devices. Logging into social media platforms emails and bank accounts from shared or unsecured wi-fi networks make it easy for criminals to access personal information. 

Finally insecure passwords are another prime cause of a cyber attack. Your password is the lock that prevents criminals from stealing your identity. But in America 23.2 million accounts use "123456" as their password. Another three million use the word "password" as their password.

The simpler your password the easier it is for cybercriminals to hack personal devices or networks.

How Can I Prevent a Cyber Attack?

While there are many cyber attack causes there are also a variety of ways to prevent a cyber attack from happening. 

First things first pick strong passwords. Use a combination of letters and numbers. For added security change your passwords every three months.

Next only use secure wi-fi networks. Do not log into personal or business accounts when using free networks. If you must use an unsecured wi-fi network or a public computer log out of everything before signing off.

Make sure to install and update antivirus software on personal and business computers. All businesses should install a firewall on their internet connection to prevent hackers from infiltrating their wi-fi. Make sure employees are well-trained in cybersecurity and are not accessing company databases on unsafe devices.

Learn More About Online Safety

Understanding the cyber attack definition is crucial as these incidents can occur anytime, impacting any individual or business. Recognizing the causes of cyber attack is the first step in safeguarding you and your customers' information. Our IT experts emphasize cybersecurity's importance, offering solutions for preventing cyber attacks and ensuring your business's resilience. With a comprehensive approach, we help keep your information secure. Discover how our security services, backed by technological expertise and extensive experience, can support your specific needs, from carrier to IT solutions, as your business grows and evolves.

Learn more about our security solutions now.

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