Cybersecurity continues to be a growing concern as humans rely more and more on technology in their daily lives. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more transactions, communications, and exchange of personal information occurs virtually than ever before. Thankfully, the majority of this happens without incident. However, there are a growing number of cyber scams and attack methods out there, so taking steps to protect yourself online should be a priority for all internet users.
Some scams target information, such as personal data like addresses, social security numbers, and dates of birth. Others are designed to acquire and use payment information to make unauthorized purchases – often within minutes of a security breach. There are also those attacks that transmit harmful or corrupted files or codes, causing damage to hardware devices.
Cyber scams and attacks are not only frustrating and time-consuming to fix. They often also lead to financial repercussions – via fraudulent payments, damaged credit, etc. Keeping in mind the types of most common cyber attacks, we’ve gathered a list of 5 tactics everyone should use to help maintain a healthy online presence and prevent cyberattacks and the financial and emotional impact that often come with them. While this list certainly isn’t all-inclusive – it is a great start for those looking to take their cyber security more seriously moving forward.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication Wherever Possible
If you’ve created any online accounts recently, you likely received an offer to activate two-factor authentication. Rather than just a traditional username and password needed to log in, this requires a second step. Generally, this is a code or link sent to the user via text or email. Entering the code or clicking the verification link then completes the login process.
The extra step does make logging in more than a one-click process. For many, that seems like an avoidable nuisance. However, the added security protects against bots and programs designed to decrypt your login information as they are unable to complete the second step. When offered by a website, we always encourage users to take advantage of two-factor authentication to better protect their accounts. An extra 30 seconds each login is nothing compared to a breach in your personal internet security.
- Don’t Give Our your Medicare Number for COVID-19 Test Kits
Because of the high demand for COVID-19 Test Kits over the past several months, those seeking these kits have been a common target for cyber scams. There are numerous companies offering test kits across the country. So, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which are legitimate versus potentially fraudulent. A good rule of thumb is to avoid companies that ask for your confidential or financial details, especially your Medicare information. Also, check local government websites to find legitimate testing locations rather than relying solely on advertisements.
- Be Aware of Phishing Campaigns
Since nearly the beginning of the email, phishing scams have existed and wreaked havoc on unknowing internet browsers. The act of phishing involves sending emails designed to fraudulently pose as reputable companies to get recipients to give out their personal information. The emails look like and sound like the original business, so it’s hard to tell the difference – except for maybe small details in the sender address. A good habit is avoiding links sent through email campaigns, especially if you have any doubts about their authenticity. Going directly to the company’s website means you know for sure transactions made are legitimate.
- Be Careful Using Public WiFi
This one takes many internet users by surprise because free WiFi in public places is good – right? Yes, having internet access at your favorite restaurant or your gym is a convenience that most of us utilize at least once daily. However, these networks are also accessible by online scammers. It’s smart to avoid sending confidential information or completing payment transactions using a public network. To be safe, rely on your own home (and password-protected) network for these.
- Partner with a Team of IT Experts for Top Security
IT and internet security can seem like overwhelming concepts, with the number of cases of fraud and stolen identity continuously increasing. Keeping up-to-date regarding common cyber scams and how to browse, communicate, and shop safely is a wise place to start. However, cybersecurity needs apply to more than just consumers and internet browsers. Businesses also need to protect themselves. A security breach with them could affect their customers’ security as well.
For organizations wanting top protection for their business, employees, and customers – partnering with IT experts is often the best route for IT management. Industry experts can help develop and implement a plan to protect a company’s data – including confidential files, emails, and network communications.
Cybersecurity Services From Kustura Technologies
We understand the importance of both individuals and businesses protecting themselves against cyber attacks. Because most modern businesses utilize online communications or storage in some form, they are all vulnerable to data breaches – be that of confidential communications, invoices, or other sensitive information. And, it’s not just big corporations at risk. Small and mid-sized businesses are common targets of cyber scams – as are their customers.
We love helping our business customers create and implement a cybersecurity plan to protect themselves and the information they share daily. Because each business differs when it comes to its IT and security needs, a tailored approach is often best. Our top priority is giving our customers peace of mind when it comes to managing their IT infrastructure and devices. If you’re looking for similar peace of mind at your organization – please contact us today!
Contact us today to take advantage of this offer and get your FREE Cybersecurity Assessment.