Experts provide easy steps to avoid possible cyber hack

Louis Holliday
FILE - In this Thursday, March 3, 2016, file photo, Georgia Department of Labor services specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps a woman with a job search on a computer at an unemployment office in Atlanta. On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the Labor Department reported that more people sought U.S. unemployment benefits the previous week, but applications are still at a low level that points to a healthy job market. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Local experts have their own warning for what to be on the lookout for when it comes to your computer-related machines and devices.

“A lot has changed from the early days of computing where you can just kind of set it and kind of forget it,” explained Brad Proctor, vice president of University PC in Greenville. “Cyber security has become a huge issue and the biggest thing being that you have to be proactive.”

The ever changing landscape of cyber-crime has many across the world on edge.

“The main calls we’ve been getting are related to ‘Am I ok?’ ‘What do I need to do to be safe,” said Proctor. He reiterated that things aren’t as simple as they used to be. “You can’t just buy a computer and it be ok. That’s not to scare anybody it’s just a truth.”

He offered a few tips and tricks to help keep your devices safe, “The biggest thing is to keep your software up to date. That is the cause of this main issue. The second being, have some kind of antivirus software that is updated and constantly monitored and make sure it’s something that’s decent.”

Backing up your data to an external hard-drive can save the day in a moment of crisis.

“A lot of times people will give them access to their computers and once they give them access then it’s hard to know what they did,” explained Proctor, who added that cell phones are vulnerable too. “The way iPhone is designed prevents some of these things. Android is a little more open so the nature of that means things can happen a little more frequently.”

If you get a call requesting access, think before you speak.

“The most common thing we hear is people calling and saying, ‘Hey I’m from Microsoft’ or ‘I’m from a company.’ Microsoft is not going to call you. They don’t know if your computers infected and they’re not going to be able to tell you any information,” he said.

When it comes to antivirus software, Proctor said more expensive does not necessarily mean more protection. He added not to give out any passwords or information to other people over email. If they need it, call them yourself to ensure information is getting to the right person.

 

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