Businesses and consumers alike are under constant security threats today. We continually hear about breaches, fraud, and other security issues happening online, at trusted institutions and it’s only the click of a mouse away in many instances.
With Cyber Monday and shopping season gearing up, now’s a great time to review tips to protect yourself from a cyberattack.
Keep Accounts Secure
One of the best ways to keep your accounts secure is to use passwords. That’s been established for a long time. But with each incident, it becomes important to learn new tactics for creating better, stronger passwords that aren’t just hard to guess but that are unique for every site and changed frequently. Yes, it’s difficult to come up with something new every time and remember the upper, lower cases and special characters in every instance, but those techniques are in place to make it difficult for hackers and thieves to conveniently use an old compromised password to get into your accounts. If you’re reusing that same password, you could be at risk. Remember, all they need many times is your email address and that password to break in.
When a company you have an account with utilizes practices like two-factor authentication, always sign up for it. This is when you’ll need something in addition to a password to access an account, often times a pin number that’s delivered to your phone for example. You can also use a password manager solution to help you keep track of all the passwords you have. Many of these programs can even generate random strings of hard to guess passwords for you.
Being vigilant about security threats and changing passwords is a great way to strengthen account security. Don’t forget too that physical devices can also become vulnerable. The best way to protect hardware from possible threats is to update it and keep tabs on security patches as they become available. Research is constantly being done to discover new threats and patches are typically quickly released. Update and add these fixes as soon as possible to best protect your phone, computers and other devices. This is an especially important thing to stay on top of when it comes to your security software. You want to have the latest defenses to block new attacks so update them frequently.
Another great way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of cyber fraud is to be informed. Keep tabs on news about the latest breaches, scams and other phishing attempts out there so you don’t fall victim to an email that seemed totally legit and turned out to have a bad link in it. Learn how to check links to ensure they are leading to a credible site. Get up to date on phone, text and email spoofing that appears to be someone you know, and ultimately, trust nothing. There’s a lot at stake when it comes to online security today and protecting your financial assets is critical.
Monitor Your Credit and Finances
Being proactive about your finances and personal information is also critical. Even taking all of the best steps to protect yourself online may still result in becoming part of a large breach that happens. Catching a potential security breach early on is possible if you’re constantly checking your credit report and are set-up to receive automated alerts from your financial institutions when something doesn’t seem right.