Therefore, it is important to be careful when you go online.
- Install a good antivirus program and let it scan automatically. A list of reliable virus scanners can be found on safeonweb.be.
- Carry out regular updates. Do this for your operating system, your programs and your apps. Programs that are not up-to-date are more easily infected by viruses. More information about updates can be found on safeonweb.be.
- Back up your data regularly to an external hard drive or the cloud. A virus can delete all your personal files or even hold them hostage. If you make regular backups, you limit the damage.
- Only connect your hard drive to your computer during backup. Afterwards, you should disconnect the hard drive and store it elsewhere.
- More information about backups can be found on safeonweb.be.
- Beware of phishing.
- Learn to recognise fake e-mails.
- Never share your bank card number, bank card codes or response codes, or personal information such as your password.
- Protect your accounts in a safe manner:
- Choose two-step verification if possible.
- Use a password manager.
- Choose long passwords (at least 14 characters), and do not share them with others.
- Are you an individual Internet user? Check out safeonweb.be for a solution to common cyber attacks.
- Are you a company, a government agency or an organisation of vital importance? Visit the CERT.be website to consult the section 'First port of call in the event of a cyberattack' and to report an incident or ask for help.
- Are you a victim of cybercriminals? Notify the police.
Impact and probability
Our society is increasingly connected by, and therefore dependent on, cyber networks. Unfortunately, these can be infiltrated by organisations with bad intentions.
In 2018, the National Crisis Center coordinated a large-scale risk assessment for Belgium for the period 2018-2023. Several experts assessed various risks based on their probability and their impact on people, society, the environment and the economy.
Within the area of 'cybercrime' they analysed the following risks:
- Computer crime: a cyber attack carried out by a criminal organisation or individual to make money.
- Hacktivism: the hacking of critical infrastructure (e.g. electricity network, electronic payment system) or government or international institutions out of activist convictions.
For the risk of 'computer crime', the analysis is:
- Impact: moderate impact
- Probability: very likely
For the risk of 'hacktivism', the analysis is:
- Impact: low impact
- Probability: very likely
Read more about this analysis and what these charts mean here.
What do governments do?
The Centre for Cyber Security Belgium (CCB) supervises, coordinates and monitors the application of the Belgian cyber security strategy. Within the CCB, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT.be) is responsible for detecting, observing and analysing online security problems.
To manage cyber security incidents and crises on a national level, there is the national cyber emergency plan. To this end, the National Crisis Center works together with the Centre for Cyber Security Belgium and other government partners. This allows all of these partners to work together in a coordinated manner to protect our country's vital sectors from cyber attacks.