Data Breaches – What you need to know
It might look like stories of huge data breaches are popping up in the newsflash frequently these days. Unfortunately, this is not shocking. As technology advances, all of our information moves to the digital world, and, as a result, cyber-attacks are becoming the new wave of crime. Companies and small industries are exceptionally attractive targets to cybercriminals, simply due to the large payday of data that can be stolen in one swoop. So, explore this article and know more about data breaches.
WHAT IS A DATA BREACH AND HOW AND WHY DO THEY HAPPEN?
The main reason that cybercriminals are thieving personal information is for use in identity theft. Last year more companies chosen not to reveal the full extent of their data breaches.
The targeted attacks from cybercriminals are generally carried out in four different ways: misusing system vulnerabilities such as out of date software, people using weak passwords such as their pet’s name without numbers and symbols, SQL injections, and targeted malware attacks. When systems do not have the latest software updates it can create a hole that an attacker can use to snitch malware onto the computer that can steal data. Weak and unsecure user passwords can make it easy for an attacker to crash, particularly if the passwords contain complete words or phrases. SQL injections allows for drive-by downloads that will inoculate spyware or malware onto the computer without the user doing anything to contract the malware. The targeted malware attacks happen when attackers use junk and spear phishing procedures to try and trick the user into revealing user credentials, downloading malware attachments or directing users to susceptible websites.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION?
Being active about your accounts is the finest security measure that you can take to do your part to prevent data breaches.
Make sure that you use tough, secure passwords for each account you access, and be sure not to use the same password across various sites. Keeping track of various passwords can seem like an impossible feat.
To keep your personal identity safe and secure, it is always important to be alert on your
Monitor your bank and financial accounts on a regular basis for suspicious activity. If the companies you do business with offer activity alerts via text or email, sign up for them.
Take action as soon as possible if you do see suspicious activity. Contact the bank or institution the suspicious activity originated from. Notify them of the suspicious transaction and inform them that your information was stolen in a data breach.
- Close all online banking applications on your phone whenever you are not using them, and give your phone a password if you do not have one. Having to enter a password every time you use your phone is dreary, but it also provides a solid line of defence if your device is stolen.
- Use secure URLs that begin with https:// on well-known sites when entering credit card or debit card information. You may also request to use disposable credit cards when doing online purchases.
- Implement high-quality security software that includes malware and virus protection. Keep it updated.
- Use a removable flash drive to store financial and other sensitive information.
Avoid oversharing on social media. Never post anything relating to sensitive information, making your profiles private, etc.
Data breaches are here to stay, and the best defence against them is a good offense. Edify yourself and stay conscientious about monitoring your online life. Luckily, there are laws in place to safeguard you, but it is up to you to report any suspicious activity and fight back against cybercrime or not.