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Cyber crimes are becoming an increasingly common occurrence in today’s digital age. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, identity theft, fraud and intrusions into others’ networks and computers make up the most common types of cyber crimes. In 2014, losses associated with these crimes totaled over $800 million. At Millstone, Peterson & Watts, LLP our staff knows that there are certain things you can do to protect your businesses from these attacks and reduce the likelihood that you will become a victim.

The FBI lists several ways you can protect your computers from cyber attacks and attempts at fraud. This includes enabling protective programs such as antispyware, antivirus and firewall protections. These programs are your computer’s only defense against hackers who wish to gain access to your protected information. They can also prevent malware, such as viruses, worms and other malicious code from being installed on your computer without your knowledge.

You can also reduce your chances of being victimized by limiting the websites you and your employees visit to trusted sites with authenticated certificates. This includes limiting the types of email attachments and other downloads you allow to be placed on your computers. In real life, wise people limit their presence in dangerous neighborhoods for safety. You should employ this same practice and only visit well-protected and authentic websites to help limit the amount of contact you have with potential hackers and phishers.

Keeping your operating system up to date and turning off your computers when they are not in use are both critical steps in keeping your information safe as well. We know firsthand the losses businesses can experience when they fail to enact these precautions. For more information on this subject, visit our web page. 

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