Cyber crime is an every growing threat in America. Recently, there have been attacks against a gas pipeline and a meat packing company. This past week, President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to crackdown on Russian-based cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity expert Alan Crowetz told Michael Williams on this week's To the Point the attacks are getting worse.
"We are seeing the attacks get worse," Crowetz said. "I would argue we hear about the large attacks like the pipeline and meat markets and all these different attacks, but the real victims are the individuals and small businesses. They are the ones really hit these days."
Crowetz, President and CEO of InfoStream, Inc., says individuals can protect themselves by making some changes. First, he says backup all files and do it often. He also suggests having multiple back-up systems.
Crowetz also emphasized the need for a strong password.
"Never use the same password on more than one site," Crowetz said. "If someone gets your Facebook password its bad, but if the same password used in your bank account it's really bad. You need to use unique passwords everywhere."
To help keep track of your passwords, Crowetz suggests using a password manager.
"If you can remember your passwords it's probably not strong enough, so get a password manager that securely keeps all of them," according to Crowetz. "You can use crazy passwords and as a bonus most password managers will fill the password in for you so if you have a ridiculously long complex password you don't want to type it will pop it in there for you."
Crowetz says everyone should use two-factor authentication. It would require not only a password but another form of evidence that the person trying to get into the account is the actual person. This may include a code sent to a cell phone or email.
Lastly, Crowetz says people should be paranoid and don't assume everything is on the up and up.
"Anytime you see something prompt for a password or to click a link or anything, a red alarm should be going off in the back of your brain. It might be legitimate but slow down and double check it," Crowetz says.
Crowetz says small business owners should also be on alert. He suggests having multiple back-ups and using two-factor authentication.
He also recommends training staff to be on the lookout for red flags and getting the security system checked out by professionals.