In this world of data sharing, it can be very easy for another party to get a hold of your personal identity and confidential information.
Hackers are not discerning. They will hack a female for money just as easily as a male. The problem is that the tools used by hackers and cybercriminals have become so cheap and so easily obtained that just about anyone with a criminal intent can get into the game. That is what it is for many of them – a game, but certainly not for you if you fall victim to their methods.
For other hackers, it is their livelihood and they take their business very seriously.
You’d Never Even Know It
In recent years, phishing (pronounced fishing) has been on the rise. This is when a hacker creates a false website and then provokes the user to visit the site, thinking it is a legitimate company. Victims are not even aware of the old switcheroo.
One woman found herself $300,000 poorer in only minutes because of a phishing scam, and it was her business account.
The hacker created a look-alike site for her business’ bank. When the woman logged on, a message prompted her to call customer service about a problem with her company’s account. When she reached the person on the phone, they asked her a series of questions and minutes later her account was cleaned out. She had no idea it was a scam and that she had been hacked, until the bank contacted her.
Unfortunately, at least one in five small businesses is hacked in some way each year.
Most times, the losses are so devastating that the business must close its’ doors within six months. Hackers are not kind to their victims. When they compromise a system, they usually take every penny.
Phishing is only one of the many ways that a hacker can violate your privacy.
Identity theft, online harassment and irritating viruses are a few more.
4 Simple Steps to Staying Safe Online
For women using the internet, keeping your personal data private and separating your business profile from your personal one is harder than ever. Social media makes this difficult as sharing is what it is all about. However, there are measures that you can take to protect yourself in the simplest of ways:
- Use a slightly different name online than in person – many of us use of full, legal name online, which is just a recipe for disaster. Harassment and stalking of women online is very common. Of all cases of reported stalking, 72.5 percent were female. Try using a nickname or your middle name for your online presence.
- Secure your laptop, mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer with passwords – make sure that you only know them and do not make a written record on your computer. Change your passwords often.
- Keep your personal online presence and your business online presence separate – this does not have to be hard. Social media allows you to customize your privacy setting so that those close to you will only receive sensitive information. The problem is that most of us don’t bother to set it up.
- Install a good antivirus program – this is so important. Too many women are running their computers on a free antivirus program that does not provide the most up-to-date virus protection available. Good virus protection should be on all your devices, including mobile ones, and password protected. I’ve been using this very inexpensive Antivirus Program which I highly recommend.
Security is becoming more important online each day.
If you do not have adequate protection on your devices, I recommend this program. It is a trusted brand that has delivered online protection for over 35 years that I’ve used to help protect myself and my children.