By Ananta Hejeebu, Managing Partner, Howard Tech Advisors
Data breaches are up 25% from this time last year, according to Identity Theft Resource Center. Criminals are getting more adept at basic grammar, social media research and other tactics to fool people. Below are some suggestions on how you can be smarter.
Never click on any link in any email from any sender.
It’s quite simple for a criminal to create messages that appear to come from your friends, or companies with which you do business. If you receive a Facebook invitation or what appears to be a note from your bank, you can easily go to that specific website to see those messages. Companies don’t tend to ask for personal information by email and you don’t need to click on an email link to access your online accounts. If you use your email as a notification, alerting you of something to do, then you can take action by going directly to the website. By avoiding any email links, you eliminate that method of being tricked by a criminal.
Increase your password security.
Ultimately, criminals are looking to gain access to your data. Routinely updating your password and having unique passwords for each account is an important best practice. While it may be a headache, you will be better protected. Use two-factor authentication (something you know + something you have) wherever possible. Make sure you are storing passwords somewhere safe, with tools such as Last Pass or Password Plus.
Make it a habit to be smarter.
You can only prevent what you know about. Cyber criminals are dedicated to finding other, new ways to gain access to your information. That is why what works today, might not work in 1, 3, 6 months from now. Make security review a part your routine.
Have questions about your IT security? Feel free to reach out to Howard Tech Advisors.