How many passwords do you have for each of your many online accounts? The answer is probably “less.” That means that you’re probably reusing passwords for different account, and thus, compromising your data. Every time you reuse a password, create a weak password, or even share your password with someone else, you are putting your valuable data at risk. What if we told you that there are programs out there that can help you keep your passwords strong and safe? Well, there are and we’re going to be talking about them today. Let’s take a look. Read More
The Internet is becoming a more dangerous place every day, as demonstrated by the amount of data breaches that have come to light in the past year alone. It seems that every time we turn around there’s another data breach – Target, eBay, P.F. Chang’s. Possibly even worse than those data breaches are the breaches that involve billions of passwords to sites that we’re still unsure about. It’s estimated that Russian criminals stole credentials from over 420,000 websites recently. These websites range from local mom and pop type websites all the way up to the big names. The big issue – the names of the sites can’t be released due to non-disclosure agreements.
What Does This Mean for Me?
Surprisingly, these thieves don’t seem to be interested in anything financial. They’ve simply been gathering peoples’ data from different websites. That’s the reason that it’s taken so long for people to become aware of the problem. Since most individuals and companies aren’t being targeted directly, those individuals and companies haven’t noticed that anyone has stolen their credentials. The problem is that these criminals could, at any time, decide that they want your financial information. This means that as an Internet user, you need to be extremely careful about your credentials as well as where you share your credit card information.
How Can I Improve My Cyber Security
There are many different ways to do this, but CNN has a few suggestions for this particular type of attack that could help you keep your credit card information under wraps and make it difficult for these criminals to access your information.
- Use a two-factor security code – Many websites are starting to offer this. You’ll have your actual password (the one that you make up) as well as a second set of credentials. This is usually a randomly generated code from an app that you can download on your smart phone or tablet so that only you have access to that security code.
- Be aware of who you’re giving your credit info to – Generally speaking, it’s best not to give your credit card information on the Internet. It can be unsafe, as hackers are capable of getting into all different types of websites. You should use a two-factor security code for whatever websites you give your credit card information to – it’s also advisable to use our rules for strong passwords whenever creating an account that uses your credit card.
Does your small business need some help in the cyber security department? Outsourcing your IT and learning more about it can be a great first step. To talk to someone about cyber security for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.
Source: CNN Money
Last year, Wired writer, Matt Honan lost control of his digital life. It took about an hour for him to lose control over everything: his email, his contacts, his bank accounts, his iTunes, even the data that was on his personal hard drive on his Macbook. Everything. He was able to recover much of it. (Here is an account of how he did it.) But it was a very difficult and sobering experience for him.
Since then, he has spent a lot of time trying to reconstruct what happened, and how they did it. His conclusion is that Passwords are the problem, and that we just have to find another mechanism to replace them. I have a different view, but I do want to share some important lessons that I took from reading about his experience:
- It is critical not to use the same password for everything. Whether Matt likes it or not, passwords are not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. There is nothing else out there that provides the ease of use and flexibility that passwords do. Especially not at comparable cost. But they can be compromised. And if yours is, and it’s the one you use for everything, you’re in big trouble. By the time you even discover it, it may be too late. I know that it’s difficult to remember a bunch of different passwords, but it’s more difficult to remember every site you’ve ever logged into, and even more difficult, if not impossible, to completely recover from a successful hack.
- The most important account you have is your email account. If you only change ONE password to make it different than the others, make it this one, and make it tough. Longer is better. Passphrases are better than passwords. (I.e. Believe it or not, “iwishihadaferrarri” is a much better password than “Xrq5@Ny” because it’s so much longer AND it’s a lot easier to remember.) Why? Because that is the starting point for all others. If you forget your bank account, Facebook and Paypal passwords, how do you recover them? You click on the Forgot My Password link on their websites, put in your email address, and they will send you a password reset link. What could I do with that? I could change the passwords for everything else.
- Consider whether “ease-of-use” features are worth the ease-of-damage-they-can-cause. In Matt’s case, because he had enabled Apple’s iCloud service’s Remote Wipe feature, which was intended to be a security feature, once they took control of his account, they were able to remotely wipe out everything on his MacBook Air, remotely. We all use some of those types of security features, and sometimes they’re fine. But before you click Accept, consider what you’re accepting. Do you really want that toolbar the Java update asks about installing? Maybe you do, but don’t just blindly leave the check box checked.
It’s a fascinating digital world out there. And it’s important to know how to navigate it safely.
If you have any questions, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!
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