Best Practices to Avoid Cyber Infection

The recent infections of ransomware at the city and state level here in New Orleans have risen user’s awareness of these very elusive criminals.  Hackers use various entry-points into a network to encrypt files and basically sell you the decryption code.  Unless you have a solid and recent backup, paying this ransom is currently your best bet.  Infections can enter through infected websites you normally visit, fake emails with links to outside infected sites, or remote servers being compromised due to poor security and password maintenance.

While there is never going to be a 100% proof system, here are some things nSpire is doing to help its customers avoid becoming a victim and some steps your users can take to avoid them as well.

nSpire is:

  1. Managing and pushing critical updates from Microsoft to plug security holes in its operating system and office products.
  2. Using state of the art anti-virus and anti-malware products installed on every machine
  3. Deploying web-filtering software on every machine to block known infected sites
  4. And maintaining and checking backups separate from the accessible system

Your users should:

  1. Be very weary of any link or attachment in email.  If you do not know who is sending and were not expecting such, please call the person and confirm they sent the email before opening the attachment or link.
  2. If it is a link, hover over the link before you click and verify it is connected to a website you expect.  If still unsure, go to your web browser and type the website directly to assure you get to the proper destination.
  3. When web browsing verify links in the site by hovering over before clicking and at the bottom of the browser verify it points to a site you expect.
  4. Wherever possible, setup the Two Factor Authentication, especially on bank websites.  This means it will text you a code to enter or use a security app on your phone to approve the login.
  5. Be especially careful when downloading and installing software.  Be sure you are getting the file from the vendor website and not a third-party download site.  If ANY doubt, please call us at 504.309.8664.

We hope this helps as you navigate the murky waters of the Internet.