High-level breaches into online accounts can and do continue to happen to unsuspecting victims on a daily basis. This includes online theft and embezzlement, along with hacking personal data to sell or commit identity theft.
One thing that has fanned the flames of cybercrime is the increased usage of smartphones and other devices to wirelessly connect with important financial accounts, along with inadequate security measures that could expose victims to cybercrime. In fact, according to the most recent statistics from Statistica, over three-quarters of Americans used a mobile device the last time they checked their bank account balance. This leaves a lot of people exposed to criminal activity that occurs online. However, there are steps you can take to keep your family, finances, and personal data safe from online attacks.
Make Sure Your Passwords Are Safe (and Strong!)
When a hacker gets access to your passwords, multiple online accounts could end up being compromised—especially if you tend to use the same password for more than one website. One of the best ways to ensure that your passwords continue to be safe is to use a password manager such as Google’s password manager.
It’s also important to create strong passwords, especially for accounts that are connected to your bank or credit cards. This includes maintaining a strong Wifi password on whatever network you use to access those accounts since a hacker can watch your online activity through your wireless connection if it isn’t secure. If you’re unsure of how to find your Wifi password, check the back of your router or contact your internet provider.
Use Two-Factor Identification
Two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to make all of your passwords and accounts more secure. It basically involves using two layers of authentication, one of which is a username and password. Once those are entered, an account that is set up for two-factor authentication will also require you to pass through another layer of protection, which will normally include a code sent to your phone via text or email.
Many services online offer two-factor authentication, and it is absolutely something you should use on every account that offers it. This includes Gmail, Dropbox, and other types of cloud storage that could include sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, identification variables, or work-related documents.
Teach Your Family About Clickbait and Phishing Scams
Every individual user on your family’s Wifi network should understand the importance of avoiding clickbait and phishing scams that ask for specific information that could lead to password identification. The easiest way to describe clickbait is any link that is included in an email, text message or online messaging system that comes from an unknown source. Even links that come from known sources can be dangerous, especially if the email account that sent it was hacked or the address was slightly changed to look correct (but in fact, isn’t).
Anyone in your household who uses the internet should also be aware of phishing links, which often come in the guise of online quizzes asking you to reveal personal information. This information could include everything from where you were born to where you met your husband or wife, so answering them could help hackers figure out security questions or passwords that you would otherwise keep hidden.
It’s Better to Be Safe than Sorry
Ultimately, any information you submit online could be hacked, should the hacker have the right access and resources. As a final reminder, clear your cache often, don’t save passwords on websites, and change your passwords often, including your Wifi sign-on information. This will ultimately help keep your family safer when using Wifi at home.