You can have your online data compromised in many ways, from clicking on an infected link to downloading a malicious application. Although users are advised to be careful about what they download on their devices, online hackers have devised ways to infect the devices without users even knowing. The number of data breaches and account hacking attempts has risen significantly in recent years, and no one is safe from the threat. It is not impossible to prevent data theft, but you can take steps to lessen the odds.
When it comes to fraud, phishing refers to a dishonest email or website that pretends to be from a trustworthy source. Phishers attempt to trick you into revealing personal information such as login credentials, credit card information, etc. The phishing email or website will usually contain a link to a website that is not owned or operated by the valid owner of the website. It is also a form of social engineering, a type of online fraud designed solely to obtain personal information from users. It allows cybercriminals to bypass authentication systems and take control of an individual’s online identity.
How To Avoid Being A Victim
To avoid becoming a victim of phishing scams, you should use common sense, especially when it comes to emails. Most email providers are adequate at spotting these kinds of scams, but some can still slip past their spam filters. Therefore, you might still see some turn up in your inbox. When you see suspicious emails, you should report them and contact the agency or company it is supposedly related to. Federal agencies and banks will never ask you for private information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers via email.
Passwords are essential things in our lives. Without them, we can’t log into our email, bank accounts, and social media accounts. Unfortunately, for all of the convenience these services offer, they are also one of the main reasons we are targeted for phishing attacks, online scams, and other cyber-attacks. A strong password is the single most crucial factor in securing online banking, online purchases, or any online account you have. Unfortunately, a strong password that uses a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols is difficult to guess. As a result, your account and your private information can be accessed by criminals if they obtain your password. If you have trouble with remembering a complex key, you can always use password managers that will assist you in keeping track of all your passwords and prevent you from having to memorize or recall them. Nevertheless, you will still need to create and remember a complex password despite these robust encryption services.
Check Security Compliance When Shopping Online
In the past, the concept of PCI compliance has mainly been relevant for companies who engage in electronic commerce. Still, today, PCI compliance is also used to extend to any company with sensitive information about its customers. For example, a bank could be PCI compliant with its customers’ data but not for its transactions. This means that the bank must ensure that the information about its customers is not accessible to unauthorized individuals and must not use the information for any other purpose without the users’ consent. Services from SecureTrust allow more online service providers to comply with this standard, which is great for consumers in the long run. However, with most people worldwide now making purchases online, it has also become a hotbed of criminal activity to steal your data. The data they are after is often your card details which they can either use themselves or sell on to larger criminal organizations to use at their pleasure. Therefore, most websites will use some form of payment security to secure your card details when making the payment.
Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs allow you to securely access a private network from a public or shared network through a pre-configured alias IP address. The secure tunnel provides privacy, security, and a protected connection to a remote server, business, or home network. VPN services allow you to connect to the Internet from your home, office, or public hotspot and access your network at work or traveling. These services are often inexpensive and straightforward to use.
Nefarious actors are constantly looking for ways to steal your valuable data. However, by using common sense when it comes to phishing and only using online services that utilize PCI compliance when shopping online, you can protect yourself from data theft.