DALLAS — Sit down, Dallas; we need to talk. You have an infection and we need to deal with it before it gets worse.
New York doesn’t even have it as bad as you do.
The reason you don’t have a fever or need an Rx is because the infection is digital — it’s worse than most of the country and it’s spreading through your devices as we speak.
Are you scared?
You should be, because Dallas comes in at #6 for the nation’s most digitally-infected cities, with over 37,630 affected PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, according to cybersecurity experts at Webroot.
Using 2016 data on infected devices, Webroot found each one had, on average, 6-24 pieces of malware installed. You know what malware is, right? It’s software used to damage your computer or give access to hackers. And you know what hackers do, right? They steal your personal and financial information and they do bad things with it.
Here are the Top 10:
- Houston, TX – 60,801
- Chicago, IL – 49,147
- Phoenix, AZ – 42,983
- Denver, CO – 39,711
- San Antonio, TX – 39,646
- Dallas, TX – 37,630
- Los Angeles, CA – 34,050
- Las Vegas, NV – 31,836
- Minneapolis, MN – 28,517
- Charlotte, NC – 27,092
Why these cities? It has nothing to do with high population; Los Angeles is the only city to appear on this list and the list of Top 10 highest populations.
“Our most infected cities list shows that cybercriminals have no geographical bias,” said David Dufour, senior director of engineering at Webroot. “Whether you live in a big city or small town, from east coast to west coast and everywhere in between, you are susceptible to being a victim of malware. It is in everyone’s best interest to run a security solution on their personal device, and to make sure that all security software subscriptions are current.”
So how do we cure this and how do we stay secure? Webroot says it’s simple as long as you follow these 6 super easy security strategies:
Buy a top-rated security solution:
Look for products that continuously protect your personal info without taking up disk space or make your device unavailable during security scans. Because that’s a drag.
Keep security software up-to-date:
Make sure your subscriptions are current so they keep working.
Avoid free public WiFi:
We know. This is going to be tough sometimes. But cyber criminals know how to create impromptu networks that look like free internet but are actually attacking your devices. Stick to secure networks when you’re on-the-go.
Use a password:
Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t lock their phones, tablets, etc. And plenty of them are sorry later.
Use good judgment:
Pay attention to websites you visit, the URLs you follow, and mobile apps you use.
Store your most sensitive data in the cloud:
Generally speaking, the ransomware hackers use to steal your data is able to only steal and encrypt files stored locally on your device, so the cloud can often be more secure than your home network.
You feel better already, right?
Now let’s get to this so next year, we can celebrate on being one of the Top 10 least-infected cities.