technology

Digital Security: 5 Ways To Protect Yourself

Security will be top of mind in 2017. I know it has been top of mind for me lately. The increase of my credit/check card being stolen has increased tenfold within the last two years. That’s just me too. I’m just one single person amongst billions of other persons on this planet, so you can imagine how others may feel on this subject. That is why securing data will be topics of conversation for many IT professionals this year and for the foreseeable future as we continue to see the rise of internet hacking and theft. End users and technology service providers alike will look to detection and response as forerunners to wage this new battle.  According to Gartner, worldwide spending on information security is expected to reach 90 billion in 2017 with a 7.6% uptick from 2016.

Why are we seeing this trend?

swiss-cheese-analogy-1In the last few years, with the advances of mobile technology and IoT, we are now accessing the internet through many unsecured means. Think of it as Swiss cheese and there is literally a Swiss cheese model describing security, learn more here. The WiFi network at the coffee shop, the device, the application on the device, we have made ourselves vulnerable by allowing the conveniences of our technology to create gaps in our cheese. If the technological means (WiFi, device & apps) are not properly stacked, the holes in our Swiss cheese become exposed.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Stay up to date on your software updates, especially on your mobile devices. This includes the applications you use on those devices as well.
  2. DO NOT save or cache your passwords for major accounts you login and use to transmit payments. And do not link your credit/check cards to those accounts for easy access later.
  3. Change your passwords frequently. Every 90-180 days is reasonable without driving yourself crazy. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Example: Your email and bank account should NOT have the same password.
  4. Run AV/Malware software on your devices to prevent and detect an unwanted intrusion.
  5. Pay attention to suspicious emails with attachments. Usually you can spot a malicious email by its use of poor grammar but then again, hackers are getting smarter about it. Stay alert and check the email from addresses and double-check URLs are actually going to the site domain you are receiving the email from.

securityUnfortunately, there are a number of ways your card information can be compromised outside of email and infected computers. Card scanners are another increasing threat. What makes this rising threat frustrating is that scanners are so easy to get and even easier to use. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Security is a constant moving target and the best way to combat it is to never lose sight of it. Stay aware of new threats as technology changes, stay up to date on your devices and apps you use, and finally, stay alert to accounts you maintain an online presence with.

 

http://www.erinalbertson.com

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technology

Smartphone Security

Would you leave your new computer unprotected by not installing anti-virus software? If your answer is: Of course not, then why should your smartphone be any different? I recently read an article stating data taken from a survey of smartphone users. It reported 70% of users felt they were safe from cybercrime. This did not surprise me. Most people tend to think that the technology is different therefore the ability to hack and steal information must be different. I’m here to say this is not true and don’t you believe it!

Have you ever been out and your friend asks, “Who sang that song we used to sing back in college?” And you reply with, “I can’t remember, let’s Google it!” So you break out your phone and away you go. Essentially you are accessing the same websites that your computer would as if you were sitting behind the desk in your office. Think of your smartphone as your pocket pc. More and more viruses are being launched targeting smartphones. Most recently a nasty Trojan called SpyEye targets your bank account. It sits and waits, incognito, waiting for you to check your bank balance only to steal your credentials and then erase its tracks. You wouldn’t even know until you go back to check your account balance only to realize it has taken a vacation without you. Don’t be a victim of vacation stealing. Take action today!

I highly recommend researching security applications for your phone without hesitation. Most times you can find a free app. And who doesn’t like free?