Posted In:Cyber Security Archives - Pligg

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Personal Data Protected

August 11, 2017 - By 
personal data

The dawn of the email was a massive step for the world of technology.

The transition from snail mail to email in the 21st-century life became a fantastic opportunity for people to chat in a near-instantaneous platform.

Stamps are quickly becoming obsolete. The opportunity to communicate immediately via email has become the norm, and keeping up with friends and family in different cities and states have become easier than ever.

All of these exciting digital changes have been made possible by the advent of email.

However, nowadays email has become such a standard practice that it’s easy to forget the importance of personal data protection.

Over 272.3 million stolen accounts were recently traded in Russia’s criminal underworld.

These types of situations are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s global economy, so locking down personal information is wildly important.

5 Tips for Keeping Personal Data Protected

1. Choose a Quality Password

Anything and everything online is becoming password protected.

Very few sites allow access without creating an account and requiring users to log in.

The importance of a strong password is probably the number one key to personal data protection.

Using a healthy mix of letters, numbers, and symbols is a great rule of thumb for creating a password that is hard to hack.

Further, avoid using the same passwords for different accounts. If one account gets ‘hacked’, then the security of all other associated accounts could be compromised.

For example, a new GMAIL account created by accessing www.gmail.com/login will be utilized for a number of different other programs and applications, especially, if using Google Chrome.

2. Don’t Save Passwords

Many people write things down to remember, however, when it comes to passwords that are associated with online accounts – this is a big no-no.

Choose passwords that are relatively easy to remember, personally, but include enough number, letter, symbol combinations that they remain strong and difficult to hack.

Just don’t write those passwords down in a book, on a sheet of paper, or anywhere where wandering eyes could see.

3. Don’t Overshare on Social Media

This is a generation of oversharers!

Many people choose to utilize numerous social media platforms where tons of information is shared, literally, across the world.

Some of the most common passwords include birth dates, names of children and/or spouses, anniversaries, and other personal information and dates.

For someone trying to hack into a personal email account, or any account for that matter can hack password combinations with just a few pieces of personal information.

4. Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Email Links

Ever heard of the term ‘phishing’?

This term refers to the activity that hackers use to ‘fish’ for personal information.

Sending links via emails that have been compromised are becoming some of the most common issues associated with having personal information leaked.

As a great rule of thumb – don’t click any link that seems even remotely suspicious or out of the ordinary.

5. Lock Computer

Lock, lock, lock down that computer.

At work, at school, at a coffee shop – anywhere the computer is turned on – make sure to have that device lock ASAP when not in use.

Simply choosing to lock a computer after a minute or two could be the most simple process to personal data protection.


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Protecting Your Information: IT Cloud Solutions and Security

August 7, 2017 - By 
cloud solutions

Every week we see more companies making it into the headlines due to embarrassing security breaches.

Just recently, the phone numbers and pin codes of 6 million Verizon users were left online for a little over a week. Other large companies such as Chipotle, Arby’s, and Sak’s Fifth Avenue have all dealt with major security breaches in the past year.

But, large companies aren’t the only ones at risk. In just the past 12 months, 14 million small businesses have been hacked.

What’s especially terrifying is that unlike large companies, who have the money and resources to recover from security breaches, small businesses are often forced to close down because of these breaches.

In fact, small businesses shell out an average of $38,000 to recover from a single security breach. As you can imagine, this is a lot of money for a small business to fork over. As a result, 72 percent of businesses end up shutting down 24 months after a data breach. 

So, how are you supposed to protect your business from getting hacked?

While there is nothing you can do to guarantee safety, securing your IT cloud solutions is one way to decrease your chances of getting hacked. The cloud offers some huge advantages, but it can be a security nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can secure your IT cloud solutions.

1. Devise Difficult to Guess Passwords

Most professionals know better than to use “1234” or “password” or a similarly obvious sequence to encrypt their accounts. But, the best passwords go a step beyond just avoiding the obvious.

Your password should contain upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special symbols. It should also be at least 10 characters long.

2. Know Who’s Accessing What

Staff members and third-party vendors should only have access to the data they need in order to perform their jobs.

Privileged users such as employees with access to highly valuable information and data administrators, should receive training on securely handling cloud archive systems and data and should be put under a higher level of scrutiny.

3. Back Up Sensitive Files

Syncing and file sharing is too often used as a replacement for external devices. But, in the event of a security breach, these files could easily be lost.

Therefore, all sensitive files should be backed up both physically and virtually. This is the only way to guarantee your firm will have access to their data in the event of a hack or a crash.

4. Separate Business and Personal Data

Many companies implement a bring your own device to work policy, and that’s totally fine.

However, you want to make sure you clearly communicate to your employees what kind of information can and cannot be stored on their personal devices. If they are allowed to store sensitive business information on their personal devices, you need to make sure they are following the appropriate encryption codes.

5. Keep Extremely Sensitive Information Out of the Cloud

Even if you follow the strictest protocol, there’s no guarantee that your cloud storage location is completely fail-proof.

So until cloud providers can guarantee the same level of security as internal business serves, it’s best to store your extremely sensitive information elsewhere.

IT Cloud Solutions: Wrap Up

Remember, no business is completely immune to an attack. Hackers are continuing to develop more sophisticated ways to invade data storage.

Being proactive with your Cloud security measures is the best way to ensure your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Please leave us a comment if you have any questions about the measures we suggested.


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The Future of Cybersecurity: 5 Must-Know Facts

June 12, 2017 - By 
Cyber Security

The development of new technology is not showing any signs of slowing down.

But as technology evolves, so do the threats posed by cybercriminals and viruses.

One white hat hacker (who works with companies to improve their security systems) has pointed out the many vulnerabilities in systems we now take for granted: in our cars, our home alarm systems – and even in pacemakers.

What are the emerging threats that cybersecurity firms must learn to deal with?

‘Internet of things’ will come under attack

The ‘Internet of things’ is a concept which has been talked about for a long time.

The story goes that as technology progresses, more and more devices will become connected to the Internet. For example, imagine ordering your groceries directly from an interface panel connected to your fridge.

While a fridge is a relatively innocuous example, imagine the effect a ‘dronejacking’ cyberattack might have.

Ransomware is on the rise

Ransomware attacks are becoming more and more common. This is where a virus will essentially lock up a person’s computer, before demanding money in exchange for a key to unlock the system.

If the person doesn’t pay up, their local data is generally deleted in response, and the virus may attempt to make their system unusable.

Security firm Symantec has predicted that there will be large scale ransomware attacks on cloud-based software and storage in 2017.

With more firms now relying on cloud solutions to manage customer and business data, this is a serious risk. Companies need to think hard about how best to protect their cloud presence from attacks.

Hacktivism

Hacktivists seek to score political points by knocking out servers, taking down, taking over, or defacing websites – among other activities.

They achieve their ends by many means, but one of the most common forms of hacktivism comes in the form of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

This method uses multiple systems, sometimes in the form of compromised computers working as ‘botnet’ under the control of the attacker(s). They will use this to flood a targeted system with traffic – incapacitating it.

Cyberterrorism

Cyberterrorism is not quite the same as hacktivism. Although it may also have a political objective, its primary aim is to cause as much disruption and fear as possible.

Terrorists may seek to disrupt networks used by healthcare systems, government organizations, markets like the NASDAQ or NYSEMKT stock exchanges, or even military institutions.

The intention might be to disable capabilities that may be used against them, or to cope with the aftermath of a secondary, physical, attack.

Government regulation

The potential fallout from acts of cyberterrorism are of concern to governments around the world.

The result of this may be greater regulation surrounding cybersecurity in the future. This will bring with it greater compliance costs, but that’s only the start of the potential issues.

Tech companies may be required to build ‘back doors’ into their software to allow governments to monitor usage.

This could be an expensive task. And critics have pointed out that leaving any door open will actually allow anyone in. All they need to do is to find the right door.