If you've ever had your identity stolen online or been a victim of fraud, you'll know just how stressful and financially destructive it can be.Cyber attacks are unfortunately now commonplace and recently Twitter warned its 330 million users to change their password after a bug was discovered in its IT system, which stored passwords and usernames in plain text.Meanwhile last month the headlines were full of potential threats of state-sponsored hacking attacks from Russia and lead to a joint warning from the UK's National Cyber Security Centre, the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security.Large-scale cyber attacks are thankfully quite rare yet we regularly hear from individuals who have fallen victim to online fraud.We asked a number of cyber security experts for their top tips for avoiding becoming a victim and here we've made a list of the best by exposing the latest tricks so you can give the crooks a hard time:
Be careful with the information you share on social media Social media can be a treasure trove for fraudsters, especially when it comes to finding personal details and potentially conning people out of their cash.Therefore it's important to make sure personal information, such as your date of birth, phone number or address, isn't shared here.Similarly if you regularly leave updates on your social media accounts when you go on holiday, this can be a tool for criminals and will let them know when your house will be empty.'They can find your spouse's name and who you socialist with - even the name of your pet that you may use as an answer to stronger security questions - even your mother's maiden name, a favorite data point used by creditors and financial institutions to verify your identity.'To protect yourself on your social media feeds, review your security settings so you know who can access the details you share. Make sure your security settings are on the highest possible setting and use less obvious answers for security questions - such as the name of your pet, which may be easily obtained from your profile.
You've probably been told a thousand times to change your password regularly and to have a different one for each account you use. However, remembering eight or nine different passwords (if not more) and changing them on a regular basis can be a real hassle and take a lot of time.Instead a password manager can do this for you. They are free to use and generate secure passwords with a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. These are then stored in an encrypted account and when logged into the password manager, your username and password will be filled in automatically when you're asked for them.
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