As we are switching all of our transactions online, we should address the fact that while the internet is accessible, informative, practical in so many ways and of course – fun, it is also a very dangerous place if you are not aware of the risks.
In the last year we had a chance to witness some of the most severe security breaches, which affected not only companies’ reputations and overall profit, but consumers’ personal information, credentials and data. With hundreds of thousands people harmed this far, because of the lack of interest from both small companies and large corporations, and uninformed third parties dealing with outdated security systems, it is long overdue for all of us to take this matter in all seriousness and take action.
Here are a few suggestions that you should adopt and practice on a daily basis when you are dealing with any forms of online payments, but even as you are providing someone with your basic information such as e-mail and password.
Be Aware of the Threat
You should update your passwords regularly, keep them strong and smart. Some of us are all sick and tired of hearing this, but try to remember who’s got your current password. How many e-mailing lists have you joined, how many forums and subscriptions? All of that data is stored so once the company’s security is breached, you are in danger.
Install virus protections, malware removal software, and keep them updated. The scary part is that even when your antivirus software is up to date you are still exposed to various threats. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Phishing e-mails. You’ve certainly heard about this, and a lot of small businesses, but even public services, were affected and had their clients and personal data held for ransom. It’s easy to spot them when you pay attention, so learn more about them and how they work.
- Be careful with downloads. We’ve all had that one download that was an unfortunate result of multitasking and not paying attention, and all those “DOWNLOAD HERE” signs trick us easily in those situations. By now, some of us are trained to pay attention to big “download” signs.
- Only shop from businesses and companies that take care of their security. Clients of eBay, Target and Goodwill had to learn this on the hard way. Let’s elaborate further on this one.
If you are a business owner, a company representative, you should be aware of the risks and respect your clients enough to have the latest and safest system possible. VPN is outdated, and if third parties can breach it and expose vital information, hackers are not even challenged. Speaking of hackers please be aware that even if you run a small business that doesn’t mean that you are not a target. In fact, they are counting on you to think in that way and not protect your business.
A proper protection doesn’t even have to be expensive. With an adequate remote support, you are saving money on IT services, your online transactions are monitored and recorded and you have a constant support that will update you. Plus, your clients will access it through a website, no additional software is needed to keep them safe, and by doing so all threats are brought down to a bare minimum.
A lot of breaches could’ve been avoided with this system. We, the consumers, should act more responsibly and take our online purchases seriously, but businesses should provide safety to even careless ones. Think about all of the data stored in the system, that’s probably hundreds or thousands of people. Companies should let all of us know that they are taking good care of us. Either that or they will face the world of troubles once our privacy gets online because we chose to trust them.
I’ve stumbled upon this article, which you might find interesting. Local news from Tewksbury reported that police had to pay ransom because of their security breach recently. Talking about irony, right? Well, have a nice day, and keep it safe kids!