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By Security Features • April 13, 2018

A day in the life of your stolen data

protect-your-data

WITHOUT even realizing it, you are opening yourself up to huge risk every day. These are the habits that could cost you.

LAST week, Facebook revealed that over 300,000 Australians may have had their personal data accessed by political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica.

Sounds scary, but this number actually represents approximately 2 per cent of active Facebook users in Australia.

That’s not to undermine its significance. Data breaches are concerning both in their potential for damage and frequency, but there will be plenty of organisations breathing a sigh of relief that fingers are pointed at Facebook right now, relieved that their own scandals are being overlooked or undiscovered.

In reality, Facebook is just the tip of the data theft iceberg.

The harsh truth is that our technology-filled lives are leaving us open to security risks at practically every turn. It’s so widespread that the 2017 Annual Cybercrime Report predicted that by 2021 cyber crime damages will cost the world roughly $6 trillion annually. It seems if you participate in modern life, with all of its perks, you could be targeted at every point in your day.

YOU WAKE UP AND CHECK YOUR PHONE

If a hacker is able to call your network provider and have your number transferred to a device within their control, they can reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup. Accounts that recommend this for security include Google, Twitter and Facebook. Virtual currency users have been targeted, but almost anyone with valuable emails or other digital files could fall victim to theft or blackmail.

YOU GRAB A RIDE TO WORK

Uber was criticised last year for covering up a cyber breach which saw the names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of 57 million users around the world, end up in the hands of hackers. They paid a ransom to have the data deleted. While no financial information was stolen, Uber was quick to insist they were going to “change the way they do business” to avoid a repeat attack. 

YOU CONNECT TO THE WI-FI AT YOUR LOCAL CAFE

Coffee with a free side of Wi-Fi might seem like a no-brainer. Especially when travelling and trying to avoid roaming charges. The reality is it’s all too easy for hackers to eavesdrop or hijack communications over a public Wi-Fi network. Some go a step further and create their own network with an almost identical name to the legitimate cafe or hotel hotspot, so you unwittingly log on to the hacked one.

YOU CHARGE YOUR DEVICE AT A MEETING

A public USB charging station can be a welcome sight as you cling to those final few per cent, but plug in your device and you could be at risk of so-called “juice jacking”. If the outlet itself has been hacked, your data could be collected while you sit blissfully unaware. Email, text messages, photos and contacts, the lot.

YOU DO A BIT OF ONLINE SHOPPING AT LUNCHTIME

Data thieves go where the money is and with e-commerce booming, you better believe hackers aren’t far behind. Each time we shop, we’re putting our trust in systems we hope are secure enough to protect our personal data. However according to law firm RPC, the numbers of online shops hit by serious losses of customer data doubled in the UK from 2016 to 2017. Last week Sears Holdings, which operates Sears and Kmart, became the latest retailer to be caught in a data breach, announcing that the credit card information for up to 100,000 customers may have been exposed by a third-party service provider.

You get the idea.

The good news is that with every exposure, consumers are becoming more aware and ultimately safer. With increasing transparency between companies and their customers trust can be rebuilt. Ultimately, Facebook is not the enemy here. These are teething problems in a digital landscape that has developed at breakneck speed; legislation and best practice are still playing catch-up.

These conversations push the agenda forward and companies like Facebook will undoubtedly play an integral part in finding a solution. Developments in fingerprint and facial recognition technology are already promising to reduce the threat, but for the here and now, take these preventive steps to keep your data safe.

WHAT TO DO TO KEEP YOURSELF AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE

 Install and update security software.

Annoying but necessary, don’t ignore those pop-ups recommending updates on your device. They give you the best security protection.

Carry your own USB cable

Be prepared with a trusted cable, power adaptor or portable battery pack and you won’t have to resort to insecure charging options.

Create a strong password

We don’t want to sound like your dad, but one of the most common ways that hackers break in to devices is by simply guessing passwords.

Check your URL closely

When browsing publicly look out for the “https” and padlock icon in the address bar which indicates your connection is secure.

 

 

 

 

Original Source: News.com