You’ve probably heard that “password” and “password123” are not effective ways to secure accounts. Still, millions of people use these passwords regularly. Combat hackers with passwords that don’t include familiar words and are made up of numbers, letters, and special characters.
Hackers are sneaky, which means you need to be vigilant on the Internet. Clicking links in emails or social media could bring you to sites that automatically download malicious software to your computer.
Don’t click if you’re not sure about the link, and keep spyware, virus software, and pop-up blockers running.
Hackers use physical data to access virtual data. Information stolen from wallets, desks, and trash bins is mined for personal information that helps hackers access systems and accounts.
Don’t write passwords down and shred documents that contain sensitive information.
Keystroke Recorders and Emulators
Keystroke recording software records your activity as you browse the Internet, letting hackers capture and recreate the keystrokes you use to log into accounts. Run virus software regularly and keep a regular eye on data and accounts to identify such an attack early.
Hackers contact individuals via email, text, and phone in an attempt to get password or other information from people. Never give your account information out to someone over the phone, and don’t believe someone who says they called you out of the blue because your computer is compromised and you need to download something to fix it.
You wouldn’t have unprotected sex with everyone in the office, and you shouldn’t share USB devices without some amount of caution. Thumb drives and other devices are an easy way hackers can spread viruses, and careless users can infect other people’s computers. Always scan an unknown drive before you download anything.
Open or Low-Security WiFi Networks
Keeping an open WiFi network is like hanging an “Open for Hacking” sign outside your home or business. Lock your WiFi down with a strong password and avoid using generic passwords like “guest” or the name of your business. Change passwords regularly if you hand out cards or documents to guests with the password attached.
Every part of a website offers a potential window to hackers. The bigger the site, the easier it is for hackers to infiltrate without notice. Use access and data-change logs to audit your web-based databases for suspicious activity to identify possible breaches.
It seems like everyone carries a couple of computers around with them on a daily basis, and your home or office may have a large device-to-person ratio. Extraneous devices that aren’t used regularly are a security risk because you might not realize they are missing. Hackers could use the device to access your network for days without notice. With a number of devices, it’s also more time-consuming to keep up with security upgrades and downloads.
Account Log-in or Reset Trickery
Hackers redirect users to log-in or reset pages that look a lot like the genuine website. This is especially popular with financial sites like PayPal. Never enter your login before you check the URL of the site in your browser bar. If anything looks suspicious, close your browser and try again.
Millions of apps are downloaded to devices every day, creating a field day for hackers. It’s difficult to ensure every app you download is safe, so limiting your downloads to well-reviewed and established apps that you really need is a good policy.
Loading data on a thumb drive or mobile device seems like a convenient way to carry information with you. Make sure files are encrypted, though. Unsecured data on small devices is easy for anyone to steal.
User Error or Action
IT admins say that the biggest security risk to companies is people. From actual fraudulent activity to simple user error, individuals inside a business often leave the door wide open for hackers. Vetting employees well during the hiring process and providing adequate training is the best way to keep the doors closed.