December 15, 2016
The first places hackers go with your email address and password combination are popular retail websites, like Amazon, Walmart and eBay. The hope is that you’ve used the same combination to log in, there, and now the hackers can go on a shopping spree with your hopefully-saved payment information. Additionally, if you stored your address and phone number, hackers may attempt to use your identity. What should be do to minimize our risk in these situations? I compiled a punch-list, below, for quick reference.
- Do not use the same email and password combination on other websites. If your email is the username on several websites, make the passwords different.
- Try not to use one-click payment settings or save credit card information online. This makes it easier for a hacker to make purchases if they get into your account.
- Change all your passwords on a regular basis. I know this is a tedious task, but changing your passwords regularly is important. Particularly, when we hear about account breaches YEARS after they occurred, at least we know those old passwords are no longer in use.
- Use “strong” passwords. Strong passwords are harder for hackers to crack, if they can at all, when they try to access your accounts directly. Strong passwords are: at least 8 characters in length, include numbers, symbols, capital and lowercase letters, and are not dictionary/common words. This Norton tool can help!
- Monitor your credit report. If you’re really concerned that someone managed to get your payment information, keep an eye on your credit report for suspicious activity.
If you’re confused about how to approach online account security, you can always drop a line to ResQTek! Happy surfing!