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To say that 2020 was a year like no other is a massive understatement.  Not only was it the year of the coronavirus pandemic, but it was also a year that saw ransomware attacks up 485%.  This comes as no surprise as cybercriminals feed off our fears and insecurities.  Top this with the pandemic, our increased online presence, the presidential election, economic struggles, and the increased number of smart devices in our homes – you now have the perfect brew for the increase in cyber threats.

Since the world had to adapt to remote work, and staying at home became the new normal, threat actors became sneakier in their spam-sending tactics by focusing more on delivering seemingly legitimate emails.  They were masters in creating more believable spam messages. They capitalized on our curiosity and the fact that users and service providers started interacting more online.

A huge rise in potentially unwanted application reports was also detected by the researchers, up by 320% year-on-year. While these will not always necessarily be malicious, they can impact user experiences by slowing down systems, displaying unexpected ads or even installing additional software.  You might be searching a website and inadvertently click on a link that downloads unwanted software.

NGT urges everyone to be very cautious.  Be proactive.  One of the top security considerations for personal and business use is being cautious of social engineering attacks via EMAIL, PHONE, and WEBSITE. Think before you click!  Any tactics or malware that proved successful for cybercriminals in 2020 will likely spill over into 2021.

We strongly encourage you to follow these guidelines:

  • THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK!  This refers to email phishing, phones, websites
  • Use antivirus software
  • Use STRONG and unique passwords that you change often
    • Don’t fall into the social media trap of sharing information online about the year you married, the year you graduated, your dog’s name. . . oftentimes those are lines to passwords we use.
  • Keep applications and systems updated
  • Be vigilant when reading information online

If you are unsure, please reach out to ngthelp.com.  We are glad to help!