Krebs on Security’s infographic about the scrap value of a PC shows just how much valuable information cybercriminals can take from discarded PCs. From your email to your financial credentials, hackers know how to make a profit with your information. With ransomware, they may even keep your data and hold it hostage until you pay up.  

Top Reasons to Protect Your PC from Hackers

When your business transitions from old technology to new, miscreants can get ahold of your discarded computer and take advantage of data they find left behind. Hackers are becoming more and more advanced, inventing ways to suck value from your discarded PC. For example, think about the impact of your email along getting hacked. Hackers have access to corporate communication that may be confidential, your contacts, associated accounts and more. Here are some of the scary consequences of PC hacking:

  • Reputation Hacking. Your social profiles, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, can be accessed through your PC. This could ruin trust with customers and be detrimental to your business. How will customers trust you with their credit card information if even your LinkedIn account isn’t secure?
  • Account Credentials. Hackers can access accounts that your business uses, such as Skype, Paypal, or Amazon.
  • Financial Information. Your PC is a portal to your business’s bank account data, credit card information, stock trades and more.
  • Hostage Attacks. Hackers can go as far as seeing into your business by accessing your webcam with webcam image extortion.

How to Prevent Hackers from Hijacking Your PC

You can take steps to prevent a technology hack. Ensure PCs are properly wiped then discarded when transitioning technologies. Don’t donate old PCs without checking that the devices are completely clear of old information.

You can also protect PCs while they are still in use in your business. One of the best ways to amp up your cyber security is to engage a trusted security vendor that understands proper network security. Your provider can conduct audits to identify threats and protect against them.

Invest in antivirus protection to spot malware that may be previously unknown. This can help employees avoid landing on compromised websites and infecting your business’s PC.

Internally, you can create a cyber security policy and train employees on best practices. Victims are often first targeted with a fraudulent email. Train employees to spot phishing emails, avoid links and delete these messages when they receive them. Minimizing the number of bad links clicked on will save your company a lot of time and money when it’s time to clean up the mess.

Enforce secure network use and password protection both in and outside your company, too. When employees are traveling or working remotely, don’t allow the use of free public WIFI, as it is unsecure and an easy way to be targeted.  

Is your company positioned to prevent miscreants from abusing your PC data? Contact a security expert today to take the first step toward a more secure business.