Small businesses are a major target for internet fraud. Information is stolen then used to create fake identities, steal intellectual property and money from bank accounts. The threat continues to increase as more devices become internet capable. The best protection is to be aware of the current security threats, identify weaknesses of internet security, and the work to protect your data. Identity theft is the primary reason that hackers try to gain personal information. In 2012, there was $21 billion lost to identity theft.
Here is the information you should know when you are considering your internet risks and security measures.
WHAT: Hackers are primarily trying to retrieve card data, but the other personal information that is sought after includes:
- Usernames, passwords, and PIN numbers
- Social security numbers
- Phone and utility account numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Employment and student ID numbers
- Drivers license and passport numbers
- Professional license numbers
- Insurance identification numbers
- College or university financial aid information
HOW: Hackers will find this information in multiple ways.
- Remote access to your data or resources
- SQL injection will take advantage of improper coding of your website
- Execution of code on your server from a remote location
- User interaction with a specific element in order to gain access to data
- Physical theft where private property is stolen and used, such as a computer or credit card
- Other creative and unidentified methods of entry
WHEN: There are multiple mediums that hackers commonly use for accessing you data, most commonly when you are using:
- Social networks
- Home WiFi
- Malicious websites
WHERE: Your system and internet security can be managed in multiple areas.
- Password security – create strong and unique passwords; don’t use ones that are easy to guess such as your dog’s name or your street address.
- Browser security – personal information should never be shared online unless you are using a secure, HTTPs connection.
- WiFi security – use a WPA-2 encryption protocol on your router.
- VPN internet connection – Virtual Private Networks conceal your IP address and secures your data; Hotspot Shield is a VPN service that enables you to surf the web anonymously and securely.
- Antivirus and malware – consider installing an antivirus that runs in the background and a malware that runs on-demand.
The complexity of attacks has continued to grow with increased security. This has made antivirus programs less effective. Regulatory detection is still the most likely to fight off hackers, but 24% of hackers are caught by the business or individual. Remain aware of your own security; you may be detecting the intruder yourself.