One of the things that we find most unsettling when a company such as JPMorgan Chase goes through a cyber attack is not the number of people that are affected. That is not to say that a hacking attack that affects millions of people is no big deal, but it is more alarming that it happened to a huge company such as JPMorgan, as well as a number of major banks and retailers, including Target, Kmart, Staples and Home Depot.
And if these big companies with entire IT departments and security experts on the payroll fail to thwart a hacking attack, what does this mean for the ordinary Internet user? Will you be able to protect yourself from hacking attacks and can you keep your information and online accounts safe?
You’re doomed. Or are you really?
The bad news is that using a strong password that is simply not easy to guess, making sure that your software is up to date, using some sort of data encryption, and backing up everything on your computer would not be enough. These steps would have worked ten to fifteen years ago, but because hacking attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, these security tips are no longer enough to protect you.
But all is not lost. There are some things that you can add to the old security steps.
- One recourse is to use two-factor authentication. This process sends you a SMS message with a code that helps you verify that you are indeed the owner of the account. So a hacker might be able to get hold of your login credentials, but without that code that is sent to your mobile phone, they will still not be able to access your account. For some services, such as Facebook and Google, you would need to enter the code sent via SMS if you log on using a different computer or have a different IP address. Most banks and major Web sites have this option.
- You could also try to limit the damage if your account gets hacked into. For one, there is no sense in using the same password for all your online accounts. If a hacker gets into your iCloud, they could very well try to use those login credentials on other sites and services. Also, it might help to delete personal data and information from cloud services. That means no archived e-mails, no photos, and no documents should be stored online.
- On the other side of the fence, if you are trying to secure your system, then it makes sense to set up traps. Create accounts that you know is fake, ones that nobody uses and should not be used. If you get hacked into, one good way to know early on is when these accounts are used. Same thing with files; set up files that are meant to serve as traps. If somebody tries to download these files, then you can immediately detect an attack.
If you are concerned about Internet security or is currently rethinking ways of how to keep your online accounts secure, then be sure to contact Four Cornerstone. Our team of security experts can help you know the best technologies out there that can help you with fortifying your Internet security.
Photo by Blogtrepreneur.