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Cyber hacks can affect individuals and businesses in any industry, which is why everyone needs to be aware of this danger. While you can’t always prevent every type of cyber hack, you can certainly take steps to protect your computer from most attacks. Knowing the differences between some of the most common attacks—and how to prevent them—is a start. That’s why this list of the top types of cyber hacks can help you get started protecting your computer.

1. Malware

Malware is one of the most common types of cyber hacks. Viruses, Trojans, and worms all fit within this category. Malware gets on your computer when you open an email, download software, or click on a link infected with a code that will install itself on your computer without you knowing. At that point, it can steal personal information or even destroy your system. The best way to protect yourself from malware is to never download files from unknown people or click links that you’re not familiar with. You should also make sure your operating system’s security measures are up to date.

The typical cyber hack can wreak havoc on your computer

2. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

A distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, occurs when hackers aim to disrupt a network’s service by overloading it. To do this, they make numerous requests for connection, resulting in too much data being sent until the network can’t handle it and shuts down. When this happens to a company website, its customers can’t visit the site, which can reduce sales greatly until the site is back up. While it’s hard to prevent a DDoS attack, you can minimize damage by performing frequent security checks to look for any weaknesses in your system.

3. Phishing Attacks

Another common type of cyber hack involves phishing, which is when hackers send out emails with links that they try to persuade the email recipients to click on. They’re able to do this because they usually try to imitate major companies that the public might recognize, such as banks and credit card companies. Once recipients click the link, they have unknowingly given hackers access to their computer. The hackers can then steal personal information very easily. The best way to prevent phishing attacks is to not click the links on emails that are supposedly from companies or unknown people.

4. Brute Force Attack

This type of cyber hack occurs when hackers try everything possible to figure out your passwords. They often use software to generate numerous guesses until they crack the password. If you want to keep your system safe from a brute force attack, make sure you create a strong password that features a combination of upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers, not simply a word from the dictionary. You should also change your passwords periodically, and ensure your system only allows a small number of login attempts before becoming locked.

You can avoid many of these types of cyber hacks, or at least minimize the damage from them, by following these tips. But ensuring you have the latest security software will also help safeguard your system from cyber hackers.

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