Edition: January 6th, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
- Excerpts from article by Dmitry Dragilev, published on Entrepreneur.com
Cybersecurity has always been a hot topic. As more consumers go online for banking, shopping and other transactions during the pandemic, fraudsters are ramping up their efforts as well.
While consumer fraud targets consumers, the focus of most of these attacks is to obtain personal identity information. From business owners to the average consumer, protecting yourself against fraud, identity theft and other scams is always on the brain.
In this growing age of digitisation, protecting yourself against fraud should be your top priority.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start, consider these five technologies that fight fraud consistently-
1. Use VPN’s.
- A VPN is one of the most overlooked ways consumers and individuals can protect themselves against fraud.
- Let’s say you connect to WiFi at any public place, if you’re not using a VPN, your connection passes through a public WiFi internet service provider service, where hackers on the same network can intercept all your data.
- When a VPN is involved, your internet traffic is redirected through a configured remote server, hiding your IP address and encrypting your data, location, browsing history and more.
- It’s also important to remember that if your IP address falls into the hands of a hacker that understands geolocation technology, they can easily track down the physical location of your company’s office or home and all of the devices connected.
- Most VPN software can also offer robocall and spam call protection for an extra level of security against fraud.
- Using a VPN is becoming more popular as a surplus of organisations move towards a remote-first environment.
2. Manage your passwords well.
- You have heard this advice before: Make sure you have a secure password.
- Most of us just change the password once and try to make sure we remember it.
- We typically reuse passwords and just add a few numbers to the end of the old one to make it easier to remember them.
- But that doesn’t cut it anymore in this day and age of cybersecurity.
- Here are some helpful password tips to follow:
- Use a password manager to store your passwords
- Use two-factor authentication on all accounts
- Give each password a minimum of 12 characters
- Include symbols, numbers and both capital and lowercase letters
- Steer clear of obvious words
- Avoid common substitutions
- Refrain from keyword paths
- Do not use your birth date, street address or any obvious pieces of information about yourself in the password
3. Use identity theft protection services.
- Identity theft protection services scan the dark web and public records to detect your information up for sale or any high-risk and fraudulent transactions that you have made online.
- Because they constantly monitor the dark web and user behavior to identify potentially fraudulent purchases, access or transactions, it’s easier to keep hackers at bay.
- These services are designed to constantly search for your information and notify you once they find a breach.
- These tools give consumers peace of mind as they monitor for high-risk activity, determine a transaction risk score as a way to determine if something is legitimate, detect fraudulent behavior and provide alerts when suspicious activity is detected.
- In our day and age having one of these services protecting your identity is a must.
4. Employ malware protection services.
- Malware is malicious software that hackers use to break into a device, gain unauthorised access to private data or complete their illicit motives.
- Malware encompasses a variety of malicious programs, like viruses, worms, trojans, spyware or ransomware that was designed to wreak havoc on your device.
- Protecting against malware is an absolute must on your computer and smartphone, regardless of whether it’s for business or personal use.
- Hackers use malware to hack into your device by tricking you into opening a malicious link or installing a program from an untrusted source.
- These links are often disguised as a standard file or attachment in an email through a phishing scam.
- Malware can do more than steal, modify, encrypt or even delete your data. It can also hijack your device’s core functionality, feed on your battery life or drain your network speed.
- To protect the devices that you use for business and personal use, it’s in your best interest to consider malware analysis tools.
- Most VPN tools include malware protection as well, so you just need to check and make sure they do.
- These types of protection software are used to investigate and isolate malware as it’s detected on your computers, laptops or smartphones.
5. Use secure online websites and apps.
- There are a few simple things to watch out for when shopping or transacting online. Using a website with an HTTPS URL is one of the most overlooked security measures we all forget about.
- If you are using a banking website or buying anything on the web, look for a green padlock in the URL bar to signify the webpage is secure. It should always have a secure HTTPS URL.
- If you are using a mobile app to bank or transact, it should be from the official banking account and never from a third party asking to connect to your bank account.
- If you receive a phishing attempt in their email with a URL designed by hackers, the URLs will look slightly odd.
- Check for a secure URL with the proper spelling and domain, being able to combat fraud is possible by only using secure mobile apps when making purchases.
- For instance, secure mobile apps prompt users to input login information and use biometric data like a fingerprint or facial recognition.
- Always read the description of a mobile application before downloading it from an app store.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)