The need to protect data has steadily increased over the last several years. In 2017, ransomware attacks rose by 2,502% alone. These malicious attackers collect personal data that is often shared through online portals or saved on devices and includes home addresses, financial institution details, social security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information. To protect yourself from data attacks, check out some of these tips.
Don’t Click Unknown Links
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it is one of the more common ways to have your information compromised. Malicious emails may often look very authentic. Look for clues that identify a malicious email, such as spelling or grammatical errors or an incorrect sender email address. If something seems off, don’t click on anything. You can always contact the sender directly to verify the email. If the email is unknown to you, you’re better off deleting it altogether.
Create Strong Passwords
In most cases, passwords (commonly called passphrases) nowadays require ten or more characters, a capital letter, a lower-case letter, and a number or special character. Stronger passwords will have more characters and use a variety of alpha, numeric, and special characters. Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. If that password gets compromised, then the attacker will now be able to access a multitude of your accounts. You should also update your passwords every few months for added security. Additionally, you can enable two-factor authentications to help secure accounts. These require an additional step, other than just your password, to log in to certain online portals. Text message-based authentication is typically used; however, it is recommended that users use Google authenticator, Microsoft authenticator, or a physical two-factor authentication key when available because they are more secure. Click here to learn more about two-factor authentication.
Don’t Share Sensitive Information
Any personal information should not be shared online unless it is done so securely. Regular email is not secure, and you should avoid sending information such as your account number, social security number, or other personal information through email. However, we wanted to note that there are secure ways to send your information to us here at Yolo Federal. We offer a secure chat through online banking, which is a great way to send questions about your account or even travel notices without risking your data privacy.
Protect Yourself Online
With the rise in social media use, many attackers can gain your personal information based on your profile and what you share online. Adjust your privacy settings to keep your social media profiles private, and never share confidential information such as your address or phone number online.
Protect your privacy. Attackers use many different methods to collect personal information, and you may be surprised how much they gather over various platforms. Visit our security blog category for more resources on how to protect yourself online.