Stolen login credentials and compromised passwords are now the #1 cause of breaches globally. Having either a personal or business cloud account compromised can be very costly. There are several things you can do to reduce the chance of having your online accounts compromised.
Most Importantly: Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)!
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) are ways to verify your identity when logging into your digital accounts. According to a study cited by Microsoft, it is proven to prevent approximately 99.9% of fraudulent sign-in attempts.
MFA/2FA adds at least one extra requirement before gaining access to your account. This significantly increases account protection. It may seem like a brief inconvenience by adding another step, but it is more than worth it for the boost in defense. The most common way to add it is to input a code or enable a push notification from your smartphone. Some additional ways are:
- Something you know – Password or pin.
- Something you possess – Smartphone, Apple Watch or fob.
- Something you are – Fingerprint or facial recognition.
Other Security Features You Should Be Using:
1. Use a Password Manager (PM) for Protected Storage
One way that criminals get their hands on user passwords easily is when users store them in unsecured ways such as in an unprotected Word document.
A PM provides you with an encrypted and protected place to store all your passwords. This way, you only need to remember one strong master password to access all the others. They can also autofill all your passwords in many types of browsers, making it a convenient way to access your passwords across multiple devices.
2. Review/Adjust Privacy & Security Settings
Have you taken the time to ensure the settings on your digital platforms are properly set to protect your information?
You don’t want to just leave SaaS settings at defaults, as these may not be protective enough. Review and adjust application settings to ensure your account is properly safeguarded.
3. Use Leaked Password Alerts in Your Browser
You can have impeccable password protection on your end, yet still have your passwords compromised. This can happen when a retailer or digital platform you use has their master database of usernames and passwords exposed and the information stolen. When this happens, those leaked passwords can quickly end up for sale on the Dark Web without you even knowing it.
Due to this being such a prevalent problem, browsers like Chrome and Edge have had leaked password alert capabilities added. Any passwords that you save in the browser will be monitored, and if found to be leaked, you’ll see an alert when you use it.
Look for this in the password area of your browser, as you may have to enable it. This can help you know as soon as possible about a leaked password, so you can change it.
4. Don’t Enter Passwords When on a Public Wi-Fi
Whenever you’re on public Wi-Fi, you should assume that your traffic is being monitored. Hackers like to hang out on public hot spots in airports, restaurants, coffee shops, and other places so they can gather sensitive information and passwords.
You should never enter a password, credit card number or other sensitive information when you are connected to public Wi-Fi. You should either switch off Wi-Fi and use your phone’s wireless carrier connection or use a virtual private network (VPN) app, which encrypts the connection.
5. Use Good Device Protection
If your device is attacked using malware, the hacker can often breach your accounts without a password needed. Just think about how many apps on your devices you can open and already be logged in to. This is why it’s so important to have strong device protection including:
- Up-to-date software and OS
- Phishing protection (like email filtering and DNS filtering)
Don’t leave your information vulnerable! StoredTech can easily help your organization enable Multi-Factor Authentication and secure your devices.