Daily, we see news reports about companies that are hacked and had information leaked. While large companies that are compromised make the press, your devices could be compromised and take you quite a while to realize that the leak is your device. I created this simple list to help mitigate your risks.
- I noticed that after traveling, many times my credit cards were being compromised and charges applied that I did not authorize. About a year ago, I was given a Signal Vault and this has not happened again. It is a very low cost option to protect your cards while in your wallet.
- Sure, I was one of those people who had one or two passwords for everything. After learning my lesson from one site being compromised and it cascading across several sites, I invested in Dashlane. Dashlane is one of dozens of password management tools available. It has worked great for me and generates passwords that are unique for each site. If you are tired of managing the password mess, find one of these tools to help you get unique passwords for all the sites, tools and programs you use.
- Use pay sites like Paypal that separate your credit card information from the site you are purchasing from. If I don’t know the site I am purchasing from very well, I always look for Paypal. Other ways of detecting bad sites is to use a DNS tool like OpenDNS that is free for home and low cost for business. They block the known bad sites.
- While traveling, pay cash for small items. Yes, it is that simple.
- If your computer or mobile device has pop ups, multiple tool bars you didn’t expect or it is just acting slow, scan it for malware. There are several sites that make tools available to detect applications running in the background that may be sending your personal information to the bad guys. If you have a Windows computer, using the built-in tool Windows Defender can be a good place to start.
As always, when working online, if the offer is too good to be true it probably is. Look at the sites you are accessing, go to sites you trust and don’t be afraid to ask experts on best practices.