Technology makes life today pretty easy. In fact, user convenience is often what drives innovation in digital technology. From smart phone to the “Internet of Things” automation software, we increasingly live our lives connected to the web. But have you ever wondered what might happen if all of the information you put online fell into the wrong hands?

Victims of cybercrime suffered $1.42 billion in losses in 2017.

According to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), victims of cybercrime in 2017, including individuals whose data was obtained via ransomware and security breaches, among others, lost about $1.42 billion. In a single year well over one billion dollars was lost thanks to cybercrime like hacking.

You might think that you’re safe from this kind of problem. Perhaps it seems as though everyone who ends up a victim failed to follow common security practices. While it’s true that some people are easier to “hack” than others, it is equally true that almost anyone could find themselves the victim of this kind of cybercrime. That’s one of the reasons why online and IT security are so important.

Our Cybersecurity Experts at ManagedIT often are called upon to increase the IT security of small businesses after they’ve had a breach. Many times, their security was lax simply because they didn’t believe that hackers would target them… or they didn’t think they had anything of value to hack. But they couldn’t be more mistaken.

What drives cybercrime?

To put it plainly, profit drives cybercrime. There is a lot of money to be made collecting and selling private information. Sometimes this manifests via identity theft, where a criminal uses stolen personally identifiable information to spend money or pursue other crimes. Sometimes you might find your data unusable and held “ransom” for the return of your information (or to prevent information from being released to the general public).

Because the market for personally identifiable information is so lucrative, cybercriminals have become quite crafty. They utilize a variety of strategies to gain access to things like:

• Account Passwords
• Access to Account Usernames
• Information to Open Fake Bank Accounts
• Your Staff’s Social Security Numbers

Information taken in a data breach can be stolen in a number of ways. It might be pulled from a mobile device through a malicious app, or it could be pulled directly from your email and other personal accounts. Keeping your business data safe, including that of of your clients’ should be your number one priority.

How can I keep myself safe from cybercrime?

There are a few measures you can take to help keep yourself safe from cybercrime. It might seem like an inconvenience, but taking a few moments to properly protect your data is well worth it.

Passwords

Your passwords are incredibly important to your online security. Not only is it imperative that you create strong passwords, it is necessary to create a unique password for each and every website you visit and each device you own. The worst thing you can do for the security of your personal information is to reuse passwords.

Let’s say that a hacker makes it into your email inbox. They now have access to absolutely everything within it. That includes archived emails and even emails that you have marked as trash, depending upon how often your email provider deletes them.

Think about your inbox and consider the information that it contains. Have you ever emailed or received someone’s phone number? Have you ever received correspondence from your bank, your place of employment, or the IRS? What about newsletters or alerts from other websites? This is particularly important if you reuse passwords, because the first thing the criminal will do is attempt to gain access to other accounts using the password that worked for your email.

Security Updates

Have you been ignoring your computer or phone when it tells you there is an important update to your operating system? This is a common action – after all, it’s annoying to have our browsing interrupted by a popup that blocks our view. It’s natural to click the “close” option and continue on your way.

Failing to update your device can leave your system at risk of exploit. Security updates are released because a potential vulnerability was found in the system itself, and a patch is needed to close it. Failing to install the updates, then, means that those vulnerabilities are both known and open to any cybercriminals who might find them.

Two-Factor Authentication

Finally, make sure that you enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to help keep your information safe. This adds another layer of security between your personal accounts and the people who are interested in doing harm. Many websites and services offer this form of security, from email providers to banking websites, and it’s always a good idea to opt into it.

Get a Free IT Security Consult

Are you looking for ways to help tighten security for your IT services? The experts at ManagedIT can help! We understand the steps needed to keep you safe, and we’re more than happy to employ them.

Contact us today to schedule your free security consultation!

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ManagedIT.SG is an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses in Singapore. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!