Cybersecurity experts say governments, including the United States, should treat the massive international cyberattack that hit last week as a warning.

It’s an attack which bought some 99 countries to their knees. It forced the closure of several hospitals, transportation facilities, and even corporations.

And in the United States, FedEx was hit hard, and disrupted the deliveries of thousands of packages.

Ironically, it’s been determined hackers used a stolen National Security Administration tool to cripple the countries. The tool was stolen and released to the world by a group known as the Shadow Brokers last month.

If we’ve learned anything about this ransom-ware attack it is that hackers are a bigger threat than ever before.

Within the past two months companies such as Microsoft, AOL, and eBay have been the victim of security breaches.

How to Protect Yourself

So how do we protect our personal digital life on our computers, besides installing a firewall or antivirus software?

  • Make sure you’ve got a strong, unique password. In other words, ensure that your password is difficult to guess.
     
  • Also don’t use the same password for multiple services. Using the same password leaves your entire digital life vulnerable to attack. This means that if a hacker has one password, he or she has all of your passwords.
     
  • Enable two-factor authentication. Many services, including Google, offer two-factor authentication for logging into your account. Yes, it takes a little longer to log in, but it’s worth it.
     
  • Apply software updates when necessary. Apple, Google, and Microsoft typically include security bug fixes and patches in their most recent software updates. So don’t ignore them.
     
  • Carefully read the permissions before installing apps. This is one of the most prominent way hackers attempt to gain access to your personal information. 
     
  • Check the app publisher before installing. There have been instances in which scammers have published apps in the Google Play store posing as another popular app. 
     
  • Make sure a website is secure before you enter personal information. Look for the little padlock symbol in front of the web address in the URL bar.

Keep an eye out for phishing scams. A phishing scam is an email or website that’s designed to steal from you. Oftentimes, a hacker will use this email or website to install malicious software onto your computer. This is how the latest security breach spread so quickly. Happy searching.

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