Staying Safe Online Can Feel Like A Challenge
Around every corner is potential for Identity Theft or Fraud. This comes in the form of personal or business accounts. According to the Insurance Information Institute, theft and identity fraud have increased by $1.5 billion dollars since 2019. This proves there is more time and effort being put into ways to scam. Data Path, Inc. has been a victim of such scams. We are learning new ways to protect ourselves and our customers. Here are 11 ways to protect yourself online:
- Change your passwords often and do not save them in your computer/ browsers- Changing your passwords often can help prevent breaches. It is good practice to do this every month or a couple of times a year. Also, if you feel you have been hacked change your passwords immediately.
- Do not open emails from strangers- Strange emails can have malicious attachments or malware that can be installed on your hard drive without you even agreeing to download them.
- Use strong passwords- Use something that isn't easily guessed, use numbers, capitals, and characters. Using a phrase instead of one word is also a great idea.
- Use two-factor authentication- When available this is a great option. It can be set up to be a text, email, or sometimes answer a security question.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi - If you do use public Wi-Fi avoid entering compromising information and change your passwords after. The best option is to use a VPN (virtual private network) to browse when you are not at home. This will send encrypted data making it harder to intercept.
- Back up your data regularly- If you are a victim of malware your data may be lost. Backing up your information regularly will help you retrieve the last non-compromised data.
- Update your devices- Keep updates turned on. Many updates have security features installed in them and help detect problems before they become problematic.
- Think before sharing financial information- Before you purchase anything on a website ensure it starts with "https://" the "s" at the end indicates the connection is secure and encrypted.
- Educate your business associates and family members - If you are doing your part to keep the network safe it may not be enough if others on your network are not using the same practices.
- Share as little personal information as possible - Be sparing with the information you share online. Treat your interactions online the same as you would meeting a stranger on the street. Stay guarded and protect your personal information.
- Go with your gut- If you feel something is amiss don't click on it or answer. Instead, if it has come from someone you know, call them, text, or email them in a separate communication to verify it is legit. When responding to a message/phone call always use the account information you were supplied with. For instance, if someone gives you a different email or phone number to communicate with, start your own communication with the verified original communication on your account.
Every day, new scams, new updates, new devices, and just the changing world will require new protections. Stay vigilant and up-to-date on the best ways to protect your information. Stay safe and remember we are here for questions.
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