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Cyber Hacks: How to Protect Yourself

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good4Utah) –  At home or in the office–cyber hacks can happen anywhere. Cyber security expert Robert Jorgensen from Utah Valley University said the most common hacks are ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts your files until you pay. The other is email scams related to wire transfers.

“Whether it comes from the FBI or IRS supposedly those agencies aren’t going to email you and demand money. Look for typos, look for things you don’t expect and especially if someone sends you an attachment you’re not expecting, don’t open it,” said Robert Jorgensen Cyber Security Program Director for Utah Valley University.

Jorgensen says your best defense is to be proactive in protecting yourself. “One of the most important things is to have good back up. All of your personal photos, your videos, your financial records if those are backed up and something happens to your computer you can restore them,” said Jorgensen.

Another protective measure, updating your operating system. “When those patches come out and it says ‘Update your system, update your phone, those usually have critical security fixes in them that if left unpatched hackers can exploit to get your data,” said Jorgensen.

If you are hacked, Jorgensen says report it to the FBI at IC3.gov. “The most important thing is to try and get your information back. You don’t necessarily want to pay the ransomware, the FBI has advised not to do that. However there are some free tools and paid tools that can decrypt it without paying the criminals,” said Jorgensen.

Jorgensen also says keep a close eye on your credit card and bank account charges for any suspicious activity.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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