National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: The Beginner’s Guide to Cybersecurity

Let’s face it, some of us have no idea what we are talking about when it comes to technology. In today’s digital world, we all deal with technology on some basic level; it’s unavoidable. Can you imagine functioning without Wi-Fi? Most people would say no. That’s why it’s so important to understand the ins-and-outs of cybersecurity.  

Cybersecurity 101  

We decided to start off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by going over the simple guidelines needed to keep your information safe. The easiest way to protect yourself from a cyber-attack is to know the commonly used cyber-hacking methods. Once you understand the typical techniques, you will be able to recognize the warning signs of a cyber-attack. Let’s go through some of the frequently used approaches now! 

The Bait & Switch  

Are you a sucker for clicking online ads? The next time you are tempted to win a gift card from a pop-up ad, make sure you do a little research before clicking that mouse. When an attacker places an ad on a website, they are setting a trap to infect your computer with malware. Clicking on the fake advertisement is inviting the hacker to gain access to your computer or device. So, what is the easiest way to avoid this? There is a certain level of legitimacy that real ads possess; fake ads will tend to look a little off. If the ad is popping up excessively or the advertised ad isn’t associated with a known brand—it’s likely a scam.  

Go Phish  

Phishing is the process of replicating a popular site, then, sending victims the spoofed link. You will often hear of people getting phished through their email account. There is no need to fear opening emails after reading this. There are usually obvious signs that the email you received is spam. The first thing to look at is the subject line of the email. If the wording in the subject line is misspelled, or in all caps, refrain from opening the email. All you need to do is mark the email as spam and delete it. It’s that simple!  

Cookie Theft  

No matter what the circumstances are, you don’t want anyone stealing your cookies. Cookies on our computers store valuable information like website logins, email passwords and search histories. Hackers will access your cookies by encouraging the IP packets on your computer to pass through their device. After successfully completing this task, they will be able to act (as you) on their internet browser. Looking to prevent this? A hacker will have a hard time stealing your information if you are using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on your computer.   

Cross-Site Scripting   

If you own a business, the first place a hacker will try to strike is your website. The most proactive thing you can do is to make sure your website is secure. A website with a few weak links is a choice target. How does cross-site scripting work, you ask? When a hacker breaks through your site’s security, their primary goal is to gain access to your data, user credentials and financial files. Once a hacker has access to your site, they can place codes into your website. This causes all sorts of problems for you and the site’s users. You’ve probably heard of things like this happening to companies on the news. A security breach on your site can greatly taint your reputation and the trust of your customers.  


Investing in the proper cybersecurity tools for everyday life and your business is essential. Lastly, we recommend staying up on the latest forms of cyber-attacks, so you can spot the warning signs before they become an issue.  

The EMPIST Effect

Software provides a gateway to further business innovation. The more that you and your company do to stay on top of software news and actually embrace more software within your business, the more benefits your business will reap. Whether you explore an online ticketing system for customer support (like EMPIST’s own Deskware) or a cloud technology platform, there’s no doubt that it will show more efficient results at your business. Give your company a competitive advantage with the right scaling software. Evolve with software and grow efficiently. 

For more IT news, blogs and industry insights throughout the week, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. 

Leave a comment


10 Signs Your IT Support
is Reactive, Not Proactive

Download our exclusive eBook to learn how your business can benefit from proactive IT support.