Imagine you’re having a conversation with someone you just met. You aren’t going to tell them your entire life story after having known them for only 5 minutes. Instead, you might tell them where you are from and they will observe things like your height and eye color. Over time, the two of you may have multiple conversations in which small pieces of your life can be pieced together. Eventually, you both get to know each other from talking, observing, and sharing parts of your own story. In much the same way, your Internet identity can be revealed every time you go online.
Last week, we addressed the topic of cyber hacking and how you can protect yourself from falling for hacks that can cost you money, time, and your identity. Butler University recently fell victim to a cyber hack that resulted in personal information of faculty, alumni, staff, students, and applicants being stolen. Luckily, police apprehended the suspect of the attach in California, but it was unclear if any of the information was used or sold to someone who might use it, which leaves one major question: how do you recover from a cyber hack?
Letters went out last week from Butler University informing students, faculty, staff, alumni, former employees, and applicants that their information may have been stolen. The letters, sent on June 26th warned the 163,000 potentially affected people about the stolen information. Police informed Butler officials on May 28th that a suspect was apprehended in California with a flash drive containing information about people affiliated with the University. While you may not have been affected by this particular hack, you need to understand the hack and the best ways to protect yourself against cyber hacks.
If you want to prevent your personal or business identity from being stolen by a cybercriminal, this report is a MUST-read!
This informational report outlines in plain, non-technical English common mistakes that many small business owners make with their computer and network security that puts their personal information and identity at risk of being stolen. It also further explains what identity theft is, and how you can prevent it from happening to you and your business.
- The top 3 ploys used by online identity thieves to easily gain access to your business and personal information, and how to avoid them.
- 10 sneaky e-mails used to steal your identity that you should IMMEDIATELY delete if they land in your in-box.
- One easy, surefire way to keep your network and computers safe and secure from online thieves.
- What you need to know about the NEW scams being used to steal personal information via social media sites like Facebook.
- Best practices to prevent you or your employees from inadvertently giving away passwords and other “keys to the castle” to Internet criminals.
Download your free copy today!
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With the world increasingly turning to the Internet for solutions, work, finances, and basically everything else, passwords have become our first line of defense. But, what happens when that line is broken? What happens when your password has been cracked? The reality is, you can lose a lot because once someone has our password, then gain access to most of your life.
By now, you have probably heard that eBay was hacked recently. There’s even a good chance that you are an eBay user and have been notified about the hack. If you received an email from eBay, it most likely told you that you should change your password to help keep NS0-920
your information protected. And while that is crucial, it certainly isn’t all you need to know.
Seems like we’ve been inundated over the past 6 months with rampant cybertheft. Target, Nieman
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Marcus, Yahoo and even mysterious $9.84 credit-card charges. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is most likely the norm going forward and not just a blip on the radar.
So, how can you stay protected online? While there is no way to absolutely, positively, 100% stay safe online, by taking these 9 steps, you will be as safe as possible.
- Only Shop On Secure Websites. Before you type your credit card into a website, ensure it is secure. Look for “https://” in the address bar of your web browser when you are checking out.
- Avoid Financial Transactions Over Public Wifi. You can’t guarantee that free or shared WiFi access is secure. Ok to connect for browsing the web, but avoid financial transactions on these connections.
- Use A Secure Network For Financial Transactions. Protect your computer with a firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software.
- Setup Banking Alerts For Unusual Or Large Transactions. Ask your bank to notify you of any suspicious or large transactions.
- Pick Complex Passwords. Use phrase acronyms and keyboard combinations. Never use repeat passwords or words in the dictionary for your financial accounts.
- Use Credit Cards Instead Of Debit Cards. Most credit cards offer better fraud protection, plus if money is stolen from a debit card, then it has already left your bank account.
- Never Directly Answer Or Respond To An Email From Your Bank. Criminals have become very adept at appearing that they are a financial institution when they are not. Never rely on links in emails to access your financial accounts.
- Install Available Security Updates On Your Computer, SmartPhone and Tablets. Many cybercrimes target known security holes on your computing devices. Stay up to date to stay secure.
- Check Your Bank Balances And Statements Regularly. Good ol’-fashioned visual checks on your balances and a scan of your transactions are the best practice to be sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.
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By now, you have probably read the term or heard someone say something about ‘Heartbleed.’ Recently, it was discovered that there is a small bug that in software that is designed to keep your password and other login information safe. There isn’t a need to panic, but learning about Heartbleed can help keep you protected now and in the future.
What is Heartbleed?
In simple terms, Heartbleed is a software bug that allows hackers to access and steal your personal information like passwords. And if someone can access your passwords, they can access just about anything.
It’s Monday morning and one of your employees notifies you that they lost their laptop at a Starbucks over the weekend, apologizing profusely. Aside from the cost and inconvenience of buying a new laptop, could you be on the hook for bigger costs, and should you notify all your clients? Maybe, depending on where you live and what type of data you had stored on that laptop.
An Emerging Trend In Business Law
Since companies are storing more and more data on their employees and clients, most states are starting to aggressively enforce data breach and security laws that set out the responsibilities for businesses capturing and storing personal data. What do most states consider confidential or sensitive data? Definitely medical and financial records such as credit card numbers, credit scores and bank account numbers, but also addresses and phone numbers, social security numbers, birthdays and in some cases purchase history—information that almost every single company normally keeps on their clients.
“We Did Our Best” Is No Longer An Acceptable Answer
With millions of cyber criminals working daily to hack systems, and with employees accessing more and more confidential client data, there is no known way to absolutely, positively guarantee you won’t have a data breach. However, your efforts to put in place good, solid best practices in security will go a long way to help you avoid hefty fines. Here are some basic things to look at to avoid being labeled irresponsible:
- Managing access. Who can access the confidential information you store in your business? Is this information easily accessible by everyone in your company? What is your policy about taking data out of the office on mobile devices?
- IT security and passwords. The more sensitive the data, the higher the level of security you need to keep on it. Are your passwords easy to crack? Is the data encrypted? Secured behind a strong firewall? If not, why?
- Training. One of the biggest causes for data breaches is the human element: employees who accidentally download viruses and malware that allow hackers easy access. Do you have a data security policy? A password policy? Do you have training to help employees understand how to use e-mail and the Internet responsibly?
- Physical security. It’s becoming more common for thieves to break into offices and steal servers, laptops and other digital devices. Additionally, paper contracts and other physical documents containing sensitive information should be locked up or scanned and encrypted.
The bottom line is this: Data security is something that EVERY business is now responsible for, and not addressing this important issue has consequences that go beyond the legal aspect; it can seriously harm your reputation with clients. So be smart about this. Talk to your attorney about your legal responsibility.
In today’s technologically driven business marketplace one of most often overlooked points of vulnerability to your business and personal information security is the strength or weakness of the passwords that you define for usage when logging into: your computer network, email provider, online banking, and accounting or payroll applications. To underestimate the importance of strong passwords is to leave the door wide open to identity theft and corporate piracy. Your passwords must be a robust combination of all the characters that are available, must be unique for different applications and must not be a word commonly found in any dictionaries, in any language. Read more