Five Ways to Protect Yourself from Hackers

These easy habit changes will help keep your professional and personal data safe.
By Bryan Chiasson

Hackers are operating at full tilt. Ransomware attacks nearly doubled in the first half of 2021, and there's a hacker attack every 11 seconds—less than the time it takes for you to click the phishing link in an email you thought was from your spouse. It's the reason that 71% of Americans say "getting hacked" is their biggest fear.

And yet, what are you doing to protect yourself? Most people do nothing—because it usually feels like too much effort to figure out what to do. But 90% of breaches involve human error—doing something you shouldn't have done, but often, didn't know better. For businesses, the average cost of a breach is $3.86 million—so isn't it worth making a few habit changes to protect yourself? Here are five you can easily implement—starting today.

Don't access your financial data on public wi-fi. How often have you sent an e-transfer or bought something on Amazon while standing in line at Starbucks? If you have to look at your phone while waiting for your latte, send a text or scroll through Instagram, but save any money transactions for the safety of home.

Use different passwords. Lots of them. Yes, it's a huge pain. But if you use the same password in even two spots, you increase the risk that hacker gains access to your information—personal, professional and financial.

Don't click that link—even if it's from your spouse. Before you click through to any website, make sure it's legit. The easiest way is to pick up the phone and call the sender to verify they actually sent it to you. It's not just your information at risk—you could be putting your entire company's data at jeopardy. Seventy-five percent of all attacked businesses in the UK in 2018 reported fraudulent emails as the source.

Use multi-factor authentication. SMS, one-time passwords and USB tokens all work as forms of multi-factor authentication, but mobile push is arguably one of most secure routes because it directly connects to the application and also allows you to approve or deny access.

Sign up for Mimecast Awareness Training. This fun, engaging security awareness training and cyber risk management platform helps companies combat information security breaches caused by employee mistakes. Developed by top leadership from the U.S. military, law enforcement and intelligence community, it makes employees an active part of your defence, instead of your biggest risk by providing engaging content, deploying training persistently to change behaviour, and fostering individual responsibility. Mimecast Awareness Training can be purchased on its own or as an add-on to your managed service provider (MSP) offerings if you're already a My Blue Umbrella client.

To learn more about how My Blue Umbrella can help protect your company's data in the event you're hacked, contact sales@mbu.ca.

 


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