Hackers are out there hunting for your information!

Jun 15, 2021

7 Easy Ways to Help Protect Yourself from Hackers and Cyber Criminals…

So Why Do Hackers Want Your Personal Information?

You might be saying to yourself “So what, I have nothing to hide. If they want my information, they can have it.”. If that’s you, it’s time to reconsider that thought process and here’s why.

Every year, data breaches steal billions of records and personal information. So you might ask, what do cybercriminals do with all of the stolen data? Data breaches are a lucrative market for online criminals. Hackers can sell your information to other criminals. A professional hacker raises $14,711 for each attack, according to the Ponemon Institute report, and has 8.26 successful attacks per year. On the Internet, especially the Dark Web, sophisticated hacking tools are readily accessible.

One method for hackers to benefit from leaked data is to sell it in mass to other criminals on the dark web. These collections can contain millions of stolen data records. The data can then be used for fraudulent purposes by the buyers. Identity theft is a fraud in which a victim’s identity information is stolen and used to obtain benefits at the expense of the victim. Often online services ask for personal information including full name, home address, and credit card number. Identity thieves steal this information from online accounts to commit fraud, such as using the victim’s credit card or taking out loans in their name.

Stolen login credentials can be used by criminals to gain access to accounts that contain payment details, such as shopping accounts. This is referred to as account takeover, and it often results in identity theft. You would lose access to your account if the hacker changes your password. Criminals may use stolen personal information to launch phishing attacks on their victims. Phishing attacks persuade people into willingly providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers to criminals by masking the fraud as something legitimate. Criminals can extort the victim if they have access to highly sensitive information.

7 Easy Ways to Help Protect Yourself from Hackers and Cyber Criminals…

1. Always keep software applications, hardware, and firmware up to date

Many cyber attacks happen when the systems or applications aren’t fully up to date, leaving open vulnerabilities. Hackers exploit these vulnerabilities to obtain access to your computer and network. Once they are in – it’s often too late to take preventative measures. To overcome this, it’s smart to invest in a patch management system that can handle all software and system updates, making the system resilient and up to date.

2. Always use strong passwords

Create strong passwords, make it at least eight characters long (more characters is better), with letters, numbers, and symbols mixed in. Adding upper and lowercase letters will get you a fairly secure password. Never use the same password for anything you do online. When a website or app is hacked, the bad guys have access to all of the accounts.

Using a Password Manager is also a good idea. Choose two-factor authentication for online banking and shopping applications. To log in, you’ll need not only your password but also a one-time code sent to your mobile device to verify your identity.

3. Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access personal or financial information

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people use public Wi-Fi to search their bank accounts or make credit card purchases. It’s highly recommended to do this over a secure network or personal network.

4. Use a virtual private network (VPN)

When opening a web browser, many of us prefer the “private” or “incognito” mode because it deletes your history and trackable cookies at the end of the session. However, keep in mind that your internet activity is already visible when you’re online. This information can be tracked, stored, and exchanged with third parties, or sold to them. Websites you visit can see your IP address, which gives them an idea of where you are geographically and identifies your device. Instead, set up a reputable virtual private network (VPN), which allows you to browse the internet anonymously. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are two common VPN providers.

5. Set up a firewall

Every day there are so many different kinds of sophisticated data breaches. One of the most powerful ways to protect yourself from any cyber threat is to put your network behind a firewall. A firewall system can stop any brute force attacks on your network and/or systems before they can do any damage.

6. Ensure Endpoint Protection is installed and up to date

Endpoint protection (anti-virus/internet security applications) safeguards networks and devices that are connected to the internet. Mobile devices, tablets, desktop and laptop computers are attached to online networks that provide access paths to internet based security threats. Endpoint protection software is required to aid in protecting these paths, and is essential these application be updated frequently.

7. Examine the device’s privacy settings

Developers regularly update user-controlled privacy and hardware security settings. Experts recommend using tools and applications to update your authorization settings through a variety of applications, get reminders to clean unwanted or out-of-date permissions for mobile-friendly apps, and get notifications when apps touch your confidential information so you can remove them with a single click. Microsoft, Apple, and Android operating systems are all supported by such tools.

Use Common Sense…

The personal cybersecurity ecosystem is continuously changing with the development of new strategies and techniques through black and white hats. The implementation of these tips should provide the majority of users with adequate data protection. Regardless of what precautions you take to secure your records, the use of common sense is your best option. If something doesn’t look right, it usually isn’t. Stay updated with apps, use anti-malware software, stop accessing files and applications from unknown places or strangers, and make sure that your backup is up to date.

Our Cyber Security Eggsperts are ready to help with protecting you, your business, and home from the threats of hackers and cyber criminals, with a complete, comprehensive cyber security solution .

Contact us today! Call (760) 205-0105 or emailing us with your questions, service requests, or even just to chat…

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