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