You most likely worrying what to do as you’ve just accidentally clicked on a suspicious link or attachment within an email or website. Well, don’t stress over it too much, there are many things you can do to prevent cyber attackers from continuing the attack.
Step 1 - Disconnect yourself from the internet
It’s important to disconnect your device immediately from all sources of internet, whether that be an Ethernet cable or a WiFi connection. Why? Because there is less of a chance that any further malware could spread onto other devices on your network. If your PC has been infected by some sort of malware, it can be very dangerous keeping it connected to the internet as it gives the malware an opportunity to try and access online accounts etc. Therefore, it’s vital you disconnect from the internet.
Step 2 - Create a system back up
If you haven’t already backed up your data it’s vital you create a system back up asap. Having back ups (on external hard drives) of your files can be the line between surviving a cyber attack. When cyber attacks occur, a hackers main aim is to gather as much data and information as possible to further support them when they come to trying to gain confidential information, such as online accounts. When recovering from a cyber attack, data can be erased or destroyed so it is better to be safe than sorry and ensure everything is backed up.
Step 3 - Change credentials
Data and confidential information is gold to cyber criminals. They want your usernames, passwords, bank details, credit card numbers and any other identifying information. Most types of malware try to trick users into entering such information, where the malware then gathers the sensitive data. If you have ever entered any personal credentials into any sort of malware program or website, it is vital that you change them immediately on an non infected machine. This applies to both online banking accounts and social media accounts. Many of us use the same credentials for our online accounts, therefore making it a lot more easier for cyber criminals to gain access to all of our accounts, and at worst funds.
Cyber attacks are occurring day in day out, and with the ever-advancing world of the digital age as we know it today it’s almost impossible to avoid them. Be vigilant, if you ever receive any email that seems to be a little unusual and suspicious to you, the best thing to do is to delete it and ignore it. If the email happened to be legitimate, then the sender will most likely find another way to contact you. It’s better to be safe than sorry!