As we venture further into the ever-evolving world of the internet of things, several concepts offer plenty of promise. However, ignoring the news of security breaches and data thefts worldwide is also problematic. As such, it would be wise to study the increase in account takeover and password theft; studies show they have no chance of slowing down anytime soon. Still, a few proven methods can help you secure your devices and keep your private data, well, private.
The Current Scale of Password and Data Theft
According to the latest Microsoft Digital Defense Report, there are around 921 password attacks every second. That is up 74% from the previous year.
The advancements in digital technology are used for more than just beneficial purposes. Scammers and hackers jump at every opportunity to utilize them as tools for data theft.
There are several factors responsible for the current state of things. Some of the most prominent ones include the following.
Hackers Getting Access to Advanced Tools
Today, those who want to access a system have far too many advanced tools at their disposal. Hackers today utilize powerful techniques to generate thousands of passwords per second. So, unlocking an account that doesn’t have 2-factor authentication (2FA) is a cakewalk. Moreover, they can deliver trojans through third-party links and cookies without the actual platforms even noticing.
Lack of Technical Knowledge
As technology progresses, it can be challenging to understand its more detailed aspects. Therefore, most people don’t follow cybersecurity awareness tips, exposing them to vulnerabilities they wouldn’t possess on older systems. If you knew someone could geolocate your phone using your photographs, you would be more cautious with your next Instagram post.
Hands-Off Approach of Businesses and Governments
The latest statistics show that cybercriminals can breach many of the current security measures employed by most organizations. And it doesn’t seem that businesses or governments are in a hurry, even though more than 80% of them consider cybersecurity a critical issue. You can observe hacks in multi-billion-dollar corporations like Sony and Bethesda, with the governments where such companies are based often leaving out crucial points in their cybersecurity laws.
Most Vulnerable User Data Points
A hacker or virus is usually after the following set of data points from any victim.
- Your financial information, including your bank accounts, cards, and credit reports.
- Emails that register with essential services you utilize in your daily life. Hackers can access your Google Drive, Microsoft Account, or employment information.
- Personally identifiable information such as your address, phone number, date of birth, and your signature.
- Your location and the services that you physically use in your vicinity, like the nearest bank branch or the restaurant that you often prefer for weekend dinners.
How You Can Protect Yourself Against Digital Threats
There are several ways to secure your accounts against digital threats. A few proven ones are mentioned below.
Go For Alternative Account Authentication Methods
Since a simple password is easy to guess, you should go for improved security measures. Services like Google and Steam offer a phone-based authenticator that generates a random code every time you log in.
That is part of their 2-FA push for every user to help secure their accounts. It also helps to tie more sensitive information, such as your bank accounts, to biometric security using fingerprints and retinal scans.
Strive For Stronger Passwords and Change Them Often
The best method is to use passwords that are impossible for AI systems to guess. Try to include upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. A helpful feature that several browsers offer is generating secure passwords for you. Instead of learning them, you can store them securely in an online cloud service or data vault.
Use a VPN for Secure Connections
When connecting to the internet using unsecured measures, like public Wi-Fi, your devices are at risk of being infiltrated by any hackers phishing on the network. You can avoid that by using a VPN for PC. A Virtual Private Network hides your IP address by rerouting internet traffic through a secure server anywhere else in the world.
Furthermore, a VPN service encrypts all incoming/outgoing data packets. So, even if a hacker intercepts them, they are next to useless without a key. Moreover, it warns you if you try to access an unreliable domain through your browser.
You might not be updated with the latest cyber threats, but your antivirus provider is hard at work. So, it is best to download and install the latest updates for your antivirus, whether you use Microsoft Defender or any third-party equivalent.
The digital world gets harder to navigate with every new technology added to our daily lives. Therefore, as account takeover and password theft increase, studies show people must remain tech-savvy. We hope this piece gives you new insights into the issue and helps you develop appropriate habits to increase your digital security.
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