cybersecurity financial attacks

Learn How to Defend Against Cybersecurity Financial Attacks

When you think of Halloween, do you think of cybersecurity financial attacks? You should. When October comes lurking on the calendar, jack-o-lanterns and other spooky things show up in stores everywhere. To buy those things, among all that candy and a trip to the dentist, you need money. Now, imagine how you feel when you go to the checkout line, insert your card, and where’s all the money?! You work hard. You try to spend little. Then, when you need it, you’ve been robbed. It’s an awful feeling, but you should consider thoughts like this in October. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  And you know you need awareness about cybersecurity financial attacks, right? To use your money and protect your identity online, you must keep it safe. Today’s hacker is more efficient, less patient, and still a thorn in the side of any IT person whose job is to defend against breaches of your personal identification information (PII). There are nefarious threats that exist solely to find your PII and reach your finances online. Use these tools to protect yourself from cybersecurity financial attacks.

Here are 6 important tips to protect you against cybersecurity financial attacks.

Source: iStockPhoto

1. Create unique passwords

The rationale here is already brewing: “That’s so much work” or “I have the one perfect password,” but it doesn’t matter. There are apps like LastPass, BitLocker, or Dashlane that help keep your information available and secure against any hacks, specifically cybersecurity financial attacks. Store your passwords with peace of mind, even if you are planning a budget. If hackers can guess one password, they could get them all. Different passwords mean the same approach to cybersecurity.

2. Leave online banking at home

Don’t bring that to your work computer. Public Wi-Fi is rarely trustworthy. You’re bored and sitting in the airport. You need to pass the time, so you check your online banking outside Gate 2E. Turning on the computer could be an open invitation to hack your PII. Do that, and your body may not be the only thing to fly away. One way hackers can get into your debit card is through pretexting. This is a scam pretending to “need” your PII so they can perform a critical task on your behalf. The email may even say it’s the cybersecurity officer of your bank. Surely, they are working on your behalf? Yes, only they would never email or call with that request. Leave your liquids, bait, and online banking at home.

3. MFA your money

Your company may be doing this already. We do at Beyond Finance – two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication (MFA). This is an extra security step where you enter your password (step one) and then enter a randomly generated code (step two). Google and Windows offer this for free, and both can be used to secure other apps. Most importantly, your bank. Consider this your next step of defense. Many know this phrase from “The Silence of the Lambs,” but Quid Pro Quo existed in the hackers’ world before Hannibal Lecter used it. Sometimes, you may have seen a baiting email where you are offered a product from a brand you trust in exchange for your password or other PII. Quid Pro Quo is Latin for “something for something.” In this, give nothing.

4. Provide no bait for phishing

Phishing attacks cybersecurity
Source: Getty
Imagine getting a real email from Walt Disney, Jr.? What about being advised about an email tracing program from Microsoft, and they need your opinion? Have you seen that urgent email from your bank because of a security breach? What do they all have in common—asking you to click on a link and offer some personal information. Phishing is a real threat, which is a term used to describe cyber criminals who “fish” for information from unsuspecting users in the form of cybersecurity financial attacks. One errant click or innocent reply and you’re on the hook. That’s the art of phishing. Stay aware of what new tricks these unscrupulous hacks use to get you to click on a link and open the door to your online vault. Never, ever offer your PII to anyone, and if you have a doubt, always call the support number.

5. Invest in antivirus

It is usually the trial run thing you let lapse with the new computer but think twice about that. Antivirus is like insurance—you never see the benefits of it until something wrong happens. A firewall and James Bond spyware are worth a couple of dollars to protect the rest of your money online. Set your phasers to scan and keep your information secure. Have you ever seen those banners on the Web that say something frightening like “Your computer may be infected with harmful spyware programs.” This is called scareware, which offers to install the tool (often malware-infected) for you. Isn’t that nice of them? Don’t do be scared. Just run away.

6. Keep your “feet prints” to yourself

Remember always to check your cyber footprint. Keeping your financial information safer online means keeping that footprint as small as possible. Limit the exposure of your PII because that’s what cybersecurity awareness is all about—knowing the pitfalls of where you place your information. That’s a six-pack of cybersecurity. Understand wherever you send your PII, you could be leaving breadcrumbs for hackers to follow. Protect yourself. Use safeguards whenever possible. Your finances must stay secure online, which will prevent you from sliding into a debt whirlwind by force. If you have any questions, please let us know. We’re here to move people beyond debt, even if that means moving toward cybersecurity.