Over the last few years, data breach incidents have grown in both frequency and severity. The most recent of these high-profile scandals is the Marriott data breach, where hackers stole private details from around 500 million customers. These details include names, addresses, credit card and phone numbers, as well as passport numbers and travel details.
While it’s not the largest data breach by any means, 500 million is no small number. The data stolen can be used by criminals to commit identity theft, where they could convince targeted individuals to give up vital, personal information, like passwords or access to banking sites. The more convincing a phishing email is, the more likely someone is to reply to it.
Keep software updated
Running the most recent software versions on any mobile operating system, security software, apps and web browsers is among the best defences against malware and other threats.
Use different passwords
Hackers often steal a login and password from one site and attempt to use it on other sites. Passwords should be long, strong and unique. It is good practice to install a reputable password manager to create complex strong passwords stored in an encrypted file on a personal computer.
Enable two-step authentication
Two-factor authentication does not allow login without access mobile phone confirmation. Ultimately, this makes it much harder for criminals to change account details.
Close old accounts
Multiple unused accounts simply create more points of vulnerability. Sometimes that might mean having to go through steps to recover a forgotten password but it is worth it. The less online footprint, the better.
Act with caution
Unsolicited communications that ask for data or refer to pages asking for personal data should be carefully checked. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.
Indeed, despite increases in established attacks like phishing and ransomware and constant cyber attacks, organisations can keep safe by remaining vigilant in their IT education of all employees reminding them to be alert and not to click on suspicious looking emails or links.