staying safe online.
There are so many things that can now be done online. From shopping, to banking, to chatting, to Netflix. The internet makes life so much easier. But it also opens up a whole world for Cyber Criminals to exploit.
what are cyber criminals?
Cyber criminals range from people sending phishing emails, to hacking into websites and companies for money or notoriety. They can impact everyone, often through no fault of your own.
Below are some tips and advice to keep cyber criminals out of your personal business.
avoid phishing emails.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely block phish emails (unless you delete your email address, but who’s going to do that!). But when looking at your inbox, keep P.H.I.S.H in mind.
P. Promising unbelievable things? Free stuff, great return on an investment, or even a lifelong partner. These are all not going to happen if you click reply!
H. Harassing/pressuring you to act? “ACT NOW OR LOSE ACCESS TO YOUR AMAZON ACCOUNT”- I’ve received this hundreds of times, but they don’t even know my name?
I. Instinctively something wrong? Don’t have a Walmart account? Me neither! That’s how I know I didn’t win customer of the month!
S. Sense of urgency? “24h TO PAY A CUSTOMS FEE OTHERWISE WE WILL DESTROY YOUR PARCEL” But I didn’t order a package from abroad, and they usually give you more than 24hours? Yes! It’s a phishing email
H. Hit report/delete the email. Many email providers offer a report feature to improve their detection logic in the future. But most importantly, DO NOT click any links, and send that email straight to your deleted folder!
stay safe shopping online
I love shopping online! I can order anything from my favourite small shops whilst they’re closed over lockdown. But, these companies don’t have the financial backing of huge websites like amazon.
Large organisations will run regular vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and automated checks. This is as well as having processes in place to detect hackers on their website.
Your average small business might not have access to this. Even with this, hackers can still get through.
Here are some examples of hacking scandals:
So, what to do? If you’re paying online, use PayPal! PayPal means no payment details are stored on the site, meaning the risk of a leak is lowered. This works by PayPal sending the website a code to say your payment was either successful or not successful.
use strong, secure passwords.
Stop using ilovedogs123! It isn't a secure password. Just take this advice from Michael McIntyre.
It’s too easy to sign up for a new account on a website, put your card data in and then not visit it for a couple of months. But if you use an easily guessable, short password, you are at risk of being hacked. Also, by reusing the same password across multiple websites you could get compromised on one, and lose access to them all.
Make sure you never reuse a password, choose long, complex passwords, and change them occasionally.
If this all becomes a bit too much, luckily there are password manager apps that can generate and store complex passwords for you. Apple Keychain, Google Password Manager, and LastPass are some of the most popular.
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