Change Your Passwords Regularly…By regularly changing your login information and passwords, you make it harder for someone to steal information. This is increasingly important for accounts without two-factor authentication. Communication accounts, like email and chatting apps, should also be updated every so often for increased protection.
…But Don’t Change Them Too OftenTraditionally, experts recommended you change passwords every 30 to 60 days–this is no longer the case. Mandatory password updates lead to money loss and lack of productivity with minimal security payoff. Now, changing your password doesn’t hold near the protection it used to. Because cybercriminals continue to learn more advanced hardware and software, they can typically discover your password if they look hard enough.
As humans, we tend to create patterns. This is no different in password creation. Typically, we use similar letters, numbers and themes when updating a password. Updating your password too often leads to confusion with little added benefit.
Keep Your Data SecureAs a rule of thumb, update your passwords when there is proof of some sort of security breach or online attack. This includes unauthorized use of an account or evidence of malware. By doing so, you’re preventing a hacker from gaining access into your personal accounts and obtaining sensitive, private information or data.
There are other ways to protect your data. Contact the experts at WesTec Services for more information about our cybersecurity services.
If you’re not sure how to create a secure password that will outsmart the online hackers, read our recent article for tips.
Analyze Email Advertisements and DealsMost attacks are a result of commodity malware. Scammers send phishing emails, often posing as your favorite brand, to try and steal your financial information. These emails often include misspelled words and misused grammar. If you suspect any email you receive is a scam, avoid clicking any URLs. This is how scammers steal your data or install malware on your computer. Instead, to verify the email came from the true brand, visit their website and see if they are offering the same deal.
Shop from Established BrandsSometimes deals look too good to pass up. If an unknown website is offering a seemingly impossible deal, you could be looking at an online scam designed to steal your credit card information. Shoppers can look for the https in a retailer’s site URL, compared to http. The ‘s’ stands for secure and ensures all communications between the browser and website are encrypted.
Avoid Public WiFiIf you plan to shop online, avoid purchasing on public WiFi. These networks are often unsecured, meaning anyone with a computer acumen can view what you are browsing and steal your personal information.
Use a Credit CardPay with a credit card when making gift purchases. A credit card offers the best liability protection against potential fraud, unlike debit cards. If scammers gained access to your debit card information, they could drain your accounts.
Make Sure All Passwords are UniqueIt’s easier to use the same password for all accounts. But is it safer? If a hacker discovered your login credentials, they could easily hack into other accounts and steal your information. To best protect yourself, your data, and your financial information, make sure each account has a random and unique password. For more information about password security, visit our recent blog post. With the holiday season quickly approaching, be proactive in identifying online scams. For more information about cybersecurity and avoiding attacks from scammers, contact us.
How Hackers Get Your PasswordsBefore you can better protect your accounts, you must understand how cybercriminals access steal your information. Typically, a hacker will compromise your account in one of three ways.
- Personal attack: Hackers target your account specifically. They will typically guess your email password and use password recovery options to access other accounts.
- Brute-Force attack: Hackers systematically check all possible passwords until the correct one is found.
- Data Breach: Hackers attack large companies, resulting in millions of compromised accounts.