- Do your online shopping from your own device and network. Don’t trust the security of unfamiliar systems.
- Never enter credit card or any financial details on unsecured sites. URLs for secure sites start with “HTTPS” and show a green padlock icon on the left.
- Use a unique, strong password for every account and use a Password Manager to keep track of them all.
- Use two-factor Authentication wherever you can.
- Don’t bookmark financial sites in your browsers and NEVER allow your browser to save login credentials for any site. Access high-value, confidential financial sites only from a good Password Manager, secured with a super-strong password.
- Review banking and credit card transactions at least once per week at a minimum, and immediately report suspicious activity to your financial institution.
- Install a first-class anti-virus program on all computers, tablets and smartphones. Keep them up-to-date and run them often.
- Keep all operating systems and third party applications updated and patched. This goes for PCs, tablets and smartphones.
- Periodically review the programs you have installed on your devices and delete those that you do not use to reduce clutter and weakly-secured apps.
- Never track packages, orders, etc. from an email. Always go to the vendor’s official site and manually enter tracking codes, etc. Criminals often spoof the emails of trusted companies to trick their victims into clicking infected links.
The internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time, putting enormous amounts of information at everyone’s fingertips and increasing the world’s productivity in incalculable ways. But, as great as the internet is, it also has a dark side. People and businesses must take security very seriously because the fact is that criminals are very much interested in you and your business. The more individuals and small businesses criminals victimize, the more money they make. It’s a numbers game that cyber-crooks are very good at.
Although the above list is far from being exhaustive, it is a good start. Take cyber-security seriously and don’t become a victim.
Joseph Imperato Sr. is the Managing Partner for XSolutions Consulting Services, a Managed Services Provider (MSP) delivering Computer Support, Business Continuity, Cloud Services, and IT Consulting to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut businesses. Call us at (845) 362-9675 and see how we can help your company.