Data breaches continue to be reported daily despite the best efforts of companies and organizations to secure their databases as best they can.
Hackers are always devising new ways to attack networks and obtain access to valuable company and private consumer data that can be used for fraudulent aims.
It is likely that the number of data breaches in 2020 will surpass the number for 2019 for some reasons but mainly because cybercriminals continue to identify new sources of sensitive personal consumer information. Lists and directories are obtained and the information is exfiltrated. Recently we have witnessed large scale hacks of the Marriott hotel group databases and British Airways.
As cybercriminals continue to discover new ways to steal data it becomes more and more important to bolster your defences as much as you can to stop them from gaining access. There are a new of vital things that you should address to make this so.
Firstly, look to your passwords. It may seem simpler to set up passwords with characters familiar to you. However, doing so will make it much easier for hackers to gain access to your data as they are used to deciphering passwords such as these. Another common password mistake is to use the same password for many different websites or online platforms. It is advisable to create a long password for each platform that you use which includes a mix of at least 10 uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols/punctuation.
There are many online password generators available that make it easier for you to come up with these. If you are concerned about having to remember all of these passwords then you could use a reliable password manager to help you keep track of your passwords.
Secondly, you should be conscious of what personal information you are posted online. Keep a close eye on your privacy settings and consider setting up customized lists of contacts who can see only certain parts of your personal information and posts. By doing this you will prevent hackers from being able to ascertain information that they can use to commit fraud like your date of birth, education details and the town you live in. Make sure that you shut down old accounts on social media platforms that you no longer use.
Mobile apps, operating systems, and all anti-virus software should be updated to the last versions. This is because patches may be included to address any security flaws. Cybercriminals are vigilant when it comes to attacking these flaws once they are made public. If you delay slightly in applying the patches, your devices may become accessible to the hackers.
The main thing to remember is to remain vigilant at all times. Even if you think that your systems cannot be breached you risk becoming overconfident and susceptible to attack. It is worth putting some time aside to review all of your online activity and double-checking your security measures to ensure that everything is working properly.
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