protect-your-personal-data-from-cyber-criminals

How to protect your personal data from Cyber-criminals

How to protect your personal data from Cyber-criminals

Many naïve computer users have woken up one morning to the dreadful realisation that some unscrupulous cyber-criminal has somehow gotten hold of their personal data. This can be as serious as a compromised credit card number, banking details or even ID number.

It can also occur in other forms such as a false Facebook identity, or annoying e-mail spam from India or China. Hackers and criminals from all over the world are constantly searching the Internet for sensitive personal data that can somehow be turned into profit for them and loss for you. It is essential that you protect your sensitive data. Here are some simple, smart ways to stay safe online.

Refresh Passwords

Cyber criminals are particularly skilled in making educated guesses about your passwords. They use personal details like your favourite colour, the last four digits of your credit card, your phone number, your children’s names and more, to gain access to your information. They use phishing to try to trick you into providing this information. Phishing occurs with fake login pages, spam e-mail links, and phone conversations that result in the unwitting person being duped to divulge their personal data.

You need to get into the habit of rotating your passwords every few months, and consider using clever but memorable new security questions that most people wouldn’t associate with you.

Two-step Authentication is Vital

This type of authentication is becoming more and more popular with online account services. If Google Drive or your bank offer this service, take them up on it. Even if hackers have learnt what your password is, they won’t be able to access your bank account or other account if they cannot provide the second password.  It might seem inconvenient to you to set this second step up, but it most certainly is worth it, considering it could keep your accounts safe.

Never Open ‘Suspect’ Attachments

Don’t fall prey to suspicious bank notifications and e-mails from untrustworthy sources. Your bank, for example, would never send you an e-mail with ‘undisclosed user’ in the section showing who the e-mail is addressed to. They would also not refer to you as ‘Dear XYZ Bank Account Holder’. Another way to verify if a link is bogus, is to hover over it without clicking on it. You’ll see that all fake links will have strange web addresses such as ‘www.hawaiisurfclub.com’ and so on.

These are just a few of the many ways to stay safe online. If you would like assistance in securing your data and personal information, we would be very happy to be of service. Contact Russell Davis at RMD Technology, or e-mail support@rmdtechnology.co.za.