Compromised passwords and stolen login credentials are now the #1 cause of breaches all over the world. Whether it’s a personal or business cloud account, a compromise can be extremely costly. However, there are various things you can do to reduce the chance of having your online accounts compromised.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
MFA and 2FA are ways to verify your identity when logging into any online account. According to one study cited by Microsoft, it is proven to prevent relatively 99.9% of fraudulent sign-in attempts. It adds at least one extra requirement before getting into an account. This significantly increases protection.
Use a Password Manager (PM)
With the majority of people using variations of the same passwords over and over, hackers can easily get their hands on them when they aren’t stored properly. For example, an unprotected Excel, Word or Note document, or even the contact application on a PC or phone. A Password Manager provides a convenient place to store all your passwords that is not only protected, but encrypted as well. As a bonus, you only need to remember one strong master password to access all the others. Passwords can then be autofilled across various browsers and devices.
Review/Adjust Privacy & Security Settings
One of the most common causes of online account breaches is misconfiguration. This is when the settings are not properly set to secure an account. Don’t leave settings at defaults, as these may not be protective enough. Review and adjust application settings accordingly to ensure your account is properly safeguarded.
Use Leaked Password Alerts in Your Browser
Even with the most up-to-date password protection settings, your password alone can still get compromised. This happens when any type of business has the usernames and passwords in their systems exposed and the information is stolen. Those leaked passwords can almost instantaneously end up for sale on the Dark Web without you even knowing it. As such, browsers like Chrome and Edge have added leaked password alert capabilities. Any passwords that you save in the browser will be monitored, and if they are found in a leak, you’ll see an alert when you log on.
Don’t Enter Passwords When on a Public WiFi
You should just always assume your traffic is being monitored when using public WiFi. Bad actors like to hang out on public hot spots in restaurants, coffee shops and airports, to name a few, so they can gather sensitive information, such as login credentials. Never enter a password, credit card number or any other sensitive information when you are connected to public WiFi. Either use a VPN app or disconnect from the public WiFi and use your phone’s wireless connection instead.
Best practices for good device protection include:
- Up-to-date software and OS
- Phishing protection (like email filtering and DNS filtering)
Don’t leave your digital accounts at risk! Let us review your current configurations and help you get the protection you need.