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Cyberattacks are on the rise—here are some ways to protect your personal information

According to cybersecurity firm Check Point, there has been a 93% surge in global ransomware attacks.

YORK, Pa. — Fending off cyberattacks has become a frustrating battle for Central Pennsylvanians.

Angela Kern, a cybersecurity professor at Penn State Harrisburg, said she was almost hacked while shopping online.

"You know, the Amazon link almost got me," she said. "I thought it was a special deal." 

Experts say ransomware has become a growing trend. This involves hackers sending malicious software and restricting access to a user's computer until a ransom, usually cryptocurrency, is paid.

Kern said it happens to the most vulnerable.

"We are seeing a ton of elderly people that aren't computer literate, clicking on links, believing things are Microsoft, Norton antivirus," she added.

At least 9 in 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned about hacking that involves their personal information, financial institutions, or government agencies, according to Pearson Institute and Associated Press poll.

"Well, I think it's scary for anybody to do anything because we rely on the computer for everything and its very easy to be hacked nowadays," Sandra Nace, a York County resident, said. 

Some preventive tips from being hacked include:

  • Having an antivirus software installed on your computer and cell phone
  • Using strong passwords containing special characters
  • Frequently updating devices to reduce risk of a security breach
  • Using a virtual private network (VPN) when working from home; this will ensure all your data is encrypted.

But if you do become a victim of a cyberattack, experts say make sure to do the following:

  • Secure your log in process by using two-factor authentication process
  • Change your passwords as hackers may be trying to gain access to a larger network
  • If you suspect your financial information has been breeched, call your bank to freeze accounts as there may be unusual spending activity

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