How to stop, prevent cyber attacks

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Computer hackers, cyber criminals who can break into highly secure computer systems looking to steal from you.

Think it can’t happen to you, won’t affect you?

You are very wrong.

In the Target department store breach in 2013, hackers stole 40 million credit card accounts. In 2014, there was a Home Depot hack where 56 million credit card accounts were stolen.

And in the T.J. Maxx/Marshall’s breach, 94 million credit card numbers were ripped off.

A company called Accudata in Houston specializes in helping large companies bulletproof their computer systems.

“Simply put, we will hack into other companies' computer systems and then tell them how we broke in and how they can fix it,” said Josh Berry, a white-hat hacker with Accudata.

Josh Berry and Vid Sista are cyber-security experts who say one of the fastest growing computer crimes involves hacking into your computer and demanding you pay a ransom.

It’s a scam our viewers tell us about all the time.

“They hack into your system or your company’s system and begin encrypting files so you can’t use them. They can lock up pictures of your children, videos, documents that you have,” Vid said.

How easy is it to get hacked?

With Josh and Vid helping us, we take you through a phishing-type hack.

Here, cyber crooks don’t have to break through any firewalls or find a tricky way in.

Instead they simply send you a fake email that looks like it’s legitimate and they ask you to click on a very legitimate looking link.

But once you click on that link, you’ve been had.

Now the hackers are inside your computer, just as if you had opened the front door for them.

How can you keep this from happening to you?

The folks at Accudata offer three different ways.

Number One: Keep your software current.

“Make sure that you run all the updates on your mobile phones, laptops, computers. Those updates often have patches to stop the vulnerabilities that hackers use to get inside,” Vid Sista explained.

Number Two: No matter how tempting, don’t click on that link!

“Don’t just click on the links that you receive. A lot of those phishing attacks will look perfectly legitimate. If you are not sure it’s legitimate, go to the actual website instead,” said Sista.

Number Three: Get Open DNS.

“What Open DNS does is it blocks when your network tries to make a request to someplace that’s a phishing site or a malicious site, it blocks you from ever getting there,” said Sista.

Open DNS is powerful security for your home system. It’s made by the same company that offers high-level security to many top-level corporations and it is available free for personal use.

We have provided a link directly to Open DNS at the bottom of this article.

This is a link you can safely click on.

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