October is upon us, and while for some it is a month of ghosts and ghouls, it is also a month dedicated to a subject that if not taken seriously can lead to something much scarier.
In today’s world, where technology is at the center of almost everything we do and where the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, staying safe on the web and doing the best to protect our data needs to be a key priority for each of us. No one is immune from a cyber-attack.
This is where campaigns such as European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) and National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the United States can help. These initiatives seek to raise awareness, change behaviors and educate us about the best way to stay safe online. As part of our desire to participate in NCSAM we take a look at six of our previous posts that can help you to protect your personal and financial data.
Important Financial Data Protection Posts
Many of us make purchases online – in this age it is almost impossible not to! However, you should exercise caution if a retailer asks your permission to store your card details on their site after the transaction has been completed, as this puts it more at risk to be compromised if the company suffers a data breach.
If you do decide to store information on a retailer’s site, make sure to use your credit card instead of a debit card. This should give you some legal rights to reverse a transaction if there’s a problem with an item you’ve bought, or you suspect fraud.
To reduce your risk of becoming a victim of banking cybercrime and to protect your money, there are a few key steps you should make sure to take when online banking. Some of these may seem obvious, such as changing your login details regularly and being careful when opening attachments, however with the UK National Crime Agency, estimating that a recent spate of attacks caused £100 million worth of losses globally, you can never be too cautious.
If you want to take further preventative measures, you can choose to bank with a provider that uses two-factor authentication. Here, users are issued with a personal identification number (PIN) and a card reader device, which is provides a unique code to identify a user to their provider. Cleverly, this code changes quickly, often within minutes, meaning cyber attackers find it much more difficult to access your login details.
Some online financial scams use fake websites where you are tricked into putting your credit card details. Although this may sound like it would be easy to spot, these websites are often almost identical to their real counterpart, with only one or two subtle differences. If you are in a hurry to make a purchase, you might just be fooled.
Luckily, there are a few warning signs that an online shop may not be genuine. For example, you can use the website Whois to let you know who has registered the site. If the details match the contact details listed on the website, then chances are it is safe to buy. When shopping online it is always better to err on the side of caution, research the website properly and, as already stated above, use your credit card rather than a debit card, as this offers you more protection if you become a victim of fraud.
Important Personal Data Protection posts
Any organization that we hand our personal information to has a duty to protect it, under legislation like GDPR in Europe and LGPD in Brazil. However, there are also many ways to get back data a company has on you (as long as this information is stored on a computer) should you wish for them to delete it. Data protection laws require companies to provide you with all the information they have on you, as well as a myriad of other things.
As cyber-attacks become more common it has never been more important to understand the data which organizations hold on you. Whilst we often feel compelled to provide our personal information in order to access a service, we do have rights to access, alter and remove data if we feel necessary.
If you think your data has been stolen it is important to act quickly to try and resolve the issue and take back control of your accounts. Although you may have good cyber security habits, with hackers being exceptionally skilled sometimes it is possible that your data still gets compromised.
If you’re unsure that your email details have been taken, there are websites which consolidate the publicly available details from all major hacks and let you search to see if your email is among them. The most prominent is “haveibeenpwned.com”. This website will not only tell you whether your information has been stolen but also where the hack occurred and which of your details were compromised.
If you are able to change your password and get back access to your account it is also worth changing your security questions, as the hacker will be able to regain control of the account if they have seen these.
The modern working world means that people need access to confidential information on their laptops and tablets whilst travelling. Unfortunately, handling sensitive data in public places does carry risks, especially if precautions aren’t taken. Failing to protect yourself could leave you vulnerable to snooping passengers or viruses.
Fortunately, there are a variety of methods you can use to enhance your level of security when travelling abroad. Minimizing the risks of handling confidential data while travelling is crucial to good cyber security practices.
If you found these posts helpful, we have many others that can help you mitigate threats this Cyber Security Awareness Month. What’s more, if there is not an answer to the question you were looking for you can visit our homepage and fill out a form with your specific question and we will answer it! Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month from Just Ask Gemalto!