This week’s article will talk about the need for proper protection for both your personal credit information and your personal/business data.
Over the past few years, we have heard about large corporations that have had data breaches where an unknown quantity of hackers have gained possession of the personal credit information for consumers. In the past 30 days, a large credit monitoring company reported over 143 million Americans whose sensitive personal information was exposed in the data breach.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you consider taking these steps to protect yourself:
- Check your credit reports. The credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can monitor them for free by visiting http://annualcreditreport.com. Or, you can consider purchasing services from a variety of vendors that will monitor your credit for you.
- Consider placing a freeze on your credit files. A credit freeze will make it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. However, it won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing account.
- Monitor your credit cards & bank accounts closely for unusual items.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.
You also have the option of purchasing the services of a Credit Monitoring Vendor that will monitor your credit for you and report any unusual activity. Should you decide to purchase one of these vendors, please use due diligence by performing research into the vendor before purchasing any products. A list of some of the available vendors can be found at this website: http://www.nextadvisor.com/
With regards to Data Breaches, USA today identifies 5 things that you can do, as a 15 minute Cybersecurity Makeover.
Step 2: Enable two-factor authentication. Make it harder for the bad guys to access your data by adding a 2nd layer of defense. A 2-Factor Authentication process will usually require that a text message be sent to a cell phone, with a 6 – 9 digit code that will require that this code be input on the web page to prove that it’s really you.
Step 3: Have good antimalware software. The days of having FREE antimalware and antivirus software have passed. The best protection will include antimalware, antivirus, antispam, endpoint security, and a firewall. You need to have antimalware on all devices, including laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones.
Step 4: Update your software. You need to run Windows Updates on a regular basis for all Windows computers and upgrade Mac computers as often as possible. The WannaCry ransomware infection attacked over 230,000 Windows computers that were running an out-of-date operating system.
Step 5: Back-up your information. There are two options for backing up your data: Local backup and Cloud Backup. For the security of your data, you need to do something. You can use a USB flash drive or external hard drive to back up your data. If you choose this option, you need to remember to do it on a regular basis. Or, you can choose a cloud backup solution that will back up your data automatically without having to think about it.
The USA Today article can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/
Elite Networking & Consulting offers their clients a cloud-based software product that backs up your data in real-time. We can verify that your data is actually being backed up without visiting your office. This is the benefit of working with an IT Professional.
If you would like additional information on the data backup solution products offered by Elite Networking & Consulting, please either call us at 855-767-9685, ext. 700 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.