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3 Cybercrimes: How to Spot and Prevent Them

Cyber attack
Article Highlights:

  • Dealerships can suffer from fines, a bad reputation, and profit loss.
  • Gain knowledge on Ransomware, Hacking, and Phishing.

As data goes digital, so do criminals who are after information. Cybercrime is on the rise, and there is no telling what the future may hold. Dealerships need to be on alert with the amount of personal information they contain. By falling victim to a data breach, dealerships can suffer damages in the form of fines, their reputation, and lost profits from customers who switch to the dealership down the street.

Spotting cybercrimes can be difficult, but here are three major types and their warning signs:

1. Ransomware

 What it is:

In the instance of a ransomware attack, a user will click on a link that is infected and malicious software will take hold of the system’s files. The system owner will be asked to pay a fee in order to get the files back. Between having data held hostage and reputation damage, ransomware isn’t something any retailer wants to experience.

How to spot it:

This particular type of malware would need someone to click a file for it to download. Always verify email addresses are correct and legitimate before opening new messages. As an example, sometimes cybercriminals will replace a letter L with the number 1 to make things appear legitimate at first glance. If there is a hyperlink in an email, hover (don’t click) your mouse over the hyperlink. If you don’t recognize the address, or if it doesn’t look legitimate, don’t click on the link.

How to prevent it:

There are three easy ways to help stop a ransomware attack. The first is to back up your data and keep those backups “unplugged” from the host. If your backup is connected to the server when it is compromised, then your backups will be encrypted too. The second is to train employees. Make sure they know to verify emails and how to check for and identify suspicious websites. The third is to have the proper firewall and antivirus installed that can detect and prevent malware.

2. Hacking

What it is:

According to techopedia hacking is the “unauthorized intrusion into a computer or network.” Hackers typically try to crack passwords, check computer networks for weaknesses and then break through, or they use a virus to extract server information.

How to spot it:

There are lots of potential hacking signs, but one of the most common is a fake antivirus message. The message will say you need to download a virus protector and will lead you to a trustworthy-appearing website, or it will make use of weak areas in your software and break in. A clue you have been infected is when your internet search is redirected. Hackers get paid off of the internet traffic you unwillingly provide. Other signs include:

  • Frequent random pop-ups.
  • Online passwords not working.
  • Stolen money from online accounts.

How to prevent it:

Avoid clicking on links in pop-ups and be wary when entering payment information or personal information. Although that sounds like common practice, if people didn’t fall for it, hackers would have stopped executing these methods long ago. Also, make sure your computer’s protection is up-to-date and comprehensive. Hackers can easily find crack’s in your system’s defense.

3. Phishing

What it is:

Phishing is when a business or person receives an email, telephone, or text message from someone who poses as a legitimate institution to get sensitive information.

How to spot it:

When it comes to someone who is phishing, they want to give their victims no time to process the situation. In these phishing scams, everything is urgent or a fake scenario is presented (for example, it might say you have a bill past due). Another sign is the scenario is too good to be true. If you won a prize in a competition you never entered, chances are, it’s a phisher after your information. These offers can come from fake companies, strange emails, or texts/calls from unrecognizable numbers.

How to prevent it:

When it comes to phishing, a seamless computer defense mechanism can help detect and prevent phishers from contacting you. If one gets through, don’t provide any personal information and don’t text back. Hang up the phone or report the email. Never provide your sensitive information to callers, even if they seem legitimate. Any credible business will be able to prove their legitimacy to you and shouldn’t require you to re-input sensitive information.

When it comes to cybercrime, businesses need to constantly be on the lookout. Customers, stakeholders, and your employees count on you to keep information guarded. Make sure you’re investing in a comprehensive cybersecurity package that’s designed for dealerships and works 24/7 to protect you from intrusions.

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MariKyle was a Product Planning Manager at Reynolds and Reynolds for Networking, Document Archiving Solutions, and Name File Services. MariKyle, a graduate of the University of Dayton and Wright State University, was with Reynolds for over eight years and held various positions in the Product Planning department.

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