Ransomware, data breaches, cyberattacks: what do they have to do with your personal information and how much should you worry?

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Merrill Wakentin Professor James J. Rouse of Information Systems at Mississippi State University

(Conversation) – Headlines are full of ransomware attack news containment organizations large and small. Are these threats to your personal information?

If there is a ransomware attack on a pipeline company, this is likely not the case. In the event of a hacking attack by a foreign agent, it could be a government agency, especially if you are a civil servant. Most likely, it was a data breach at a credit bureau, social media company, or large retailer.

The bottom line is that your online data is not secure. A new serious data breach is reported every week and most Americans have experienced some form of data theft. And it can harm you. What should i do?

Slight frustration or a lot of suffering

First, the latest digital crime ransomware attack Or is it a data breach? If you are targeting a company that provides the services you use, we may cause you inconvenience while the company is closed.

If it was a data breach, check that your information is publicly available. You may have been notified that your personal information has been released. US law requires companies to be notified if their data has been stolen. But you can also check out haveibeenpwned.com for yourself.

Data breaches can include online theft of credentials: username and password. However, hackers can also steal bank accounts and credit card numbers or sensitive or proprietary information such as personal health information, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and social security numbers.

It’s scary to have your data stolen from your company, but it’s also an opportunity to buy stocks and take sensible steps to protect your data elsewhere. Take the time now to protect yourself, even if your data has not yet been published.

How bad is it?

As a cyber security scientist, I recommend doing a risk assessment. Ask a simple question, then take some precautions.

When you know your data has been stolen, the most important question is what type of data has been stolen. Like car thieves, data thieves try to steal valuable things. Think about how attractive your data is to others. Was it sensitive data that could be harmful if it got into the wrong hands, such as a financial account? Or was it data that wouldn’t be a problem if someone got it? What is the worst theft vulnerability? What if a data thief takes it?

Many ecommerce sites keep a purchase history but not a credit card number. Please ask yourself. Have you allowed saving to a file? If you regularly shop at websites like hotel chains, airlines, or grocery stores, the answer is likely “yes”. The thief doesn’t care about your seating preference. They are trying to steal your credit card information and your loyalty rewards. Sell ​​on the black market.

What should I do

If you haven’t already, set up two-factor authentication on all websites that store valuable data. If a data thief stole your password but you are using two-factor authentication, they will not be able to use your password to access your account.

Entering the one-way code, which is sent to your mobile phone every time, can be a bit of a hassle, but it will protect you from harm in the event of an inevitable breach. Even better authentication app No SMS for two-factor authentication. This is especially important for bank and brokerage accounts. If your health-related information appears valuable or confidential, your health care provider’s website, insurance company, and pharmacy should also take special precautions.

If you use Unique Password Instead of reusing your preferred password if you’ve used it elsewhere, the hacker will have your credentials access to a different account. One third of users use the same password for all accounts.

Take this opportunity to change your password, especially with banks, brokerage firms, and websites with credit card numbers. Unique passwords can be recorded on paper hidden at home or on encrypted files in the cloud. Or you can download and install a good password manager. The password manager encrypts the password on the device before it is sent to the cloud and the password is protected even if the password manager company is hacked.

When your credit card number is revealed, you must notify your bank. Now is a good time to set up Mobile Banking Alerts to receive notifications of unusual activity, bulk purchases, etc. Your bank may want to issue you a new card, a new number; it’s not too much trouble. Experienced theft of personal information.

You should also consider closing old unused accounts so that related information is no longer available. Do you have a hotel chain, restaurant, or airline loyalty account that you haven’t used in years and will never use again? Close it. If you have a credit card with the company, make sure that it reports the account closure to the credit reporting agency.

Now is the perfect time to check the credit reports of all three credit reporting agencies. Do you rarely apply for new loans and want to protect your identity? If so, lock the balance .. Make sure you generate a unique password and record it at home in case you need to keep your balance to apply for a loan later. This will help protect you from the worst consequences of personal information theft.

Ransomware, data breaches, cyberattacks: what do they have to do with your personal information and how much should you worry?

Source Link Ransomware, Data Breach, Cyber ​​Attacks: What Do They Have To Do With Your Personal Information And How Much Should You Be Worried About?



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