Data breaches, ransomware, viruses, credential theft. These are all unfortunate risks associated with online activity. Hopefully you will never have to experience a security breach or hacked account. But as the saying goes…It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
When a company experiences a data breach due to their lack of security there is very little that you could have done to protect yourself. BUT there is one very important thing that you should do and this one tip may save you a bunch of grief.
DON’T USE THE SAME PASSWORD FOR EVERYTHING.
When a company’s database is compromised the login and passwords are typically sold on the dark web. Cyber crooks then use these databases and attempt to use the IDs and passwords on a variety of sites. So if you use the same password for everything and one of those sites experienced a data breach what do you suppose could happen to you next?
Follow these security best practices to stay safe online:
- Use complex and unique passwords
- Never save your password in the browser
- Keep your devices up to date and install anti-virus software
- Perform backups regularly
- Enable remote wipe in case your device is lost or stolen
- Recognize phishing emails and report incidents
- Don’t store debit or credit card information online
- Share with care-don’t disclose too much personal information
- Use secure browsers and sites when shopping online (https://)
- Don’t use public wi-fi when conducting confidential business
Although you can’t prevent all possibilities of becoming a victim you can minimize your risks by following these safe practices. Recognizing that there is a chance that ‘it CAN happen to you’ will help you to stay proactive and, hopefully, prevent you from becoming a target.