Protecting yourself from a cyber attack: Is it possible?

12:14 AM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a world with no walls, where ones and zeros give access to a technological cyberspace controlled by our fingertips.

"I always pay online, I haven't written a check out in years, except for maybe to the church," said Layne Ward, a JEA customer.

This latest attack on the JEA website is a prime example of everyone's vulnerability.

But 24-hour access to some of the most important information is creating a problem that no one can control, with hackers who want what's on your computer.

"The majority of the systems that are created out there are made by people that design security software and there's always people that know how to get through everything. It's the people that make it that are the same people that can break it," said Russell Sweet with Affordable Computer Repair.

RELATED: Cyber security expert says JEA not alone for 'Denial of Service' attack

So if you're worried about your personal banking, Sweet said there is no system that can absolutely secure your information.

He adds that you're taking a risk every time you go online, but that the average hacker doesn't care about your information and pictures. They want to go after the big people and make a name for themselves on the web.

One way to hack into a system is through a "ping" which is often used to open a port on an IP address, computer or cellphone.

"So basically you can use a port sniffer that that will sniff it and try to find open ports and that's how all these hackers get in," Sweet said.

RELATED: JEA.com crippled by cyber attack

If you go online, here are some tips to protect yourself:

-Keep a clean machine with the latest security software.

-Make your passwords difficult with capital letters and numbers and if a link looks suspicious in an email, throw it out.

-The only other way hackers can stay out of your computer is if you disconnect your Ethernet from your computer.

First Coast News

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