BLOG: How To Remain Vigilant Against Cybercrime

By GSV Operations

As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to take inventory of account passwords and brush up on cybersecurity best practices. As personal and professional lives become more intertwined, so do online accounts and the information to unlock them.

Cyberattacks and other online security issues remain a significant threat to modern businesses everywhere, and no company is immune. The proliferation of personal online information and weak password management can be a way for cyber criminals to infiltrate unsuspecting companies and their employees, wreaking havoc on systems, data, customers, and ultimately, profitability.

The GSV security team recommends these simple tips to protect yourself and your business from cybercrimes and identity theft:

  1. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all personal and professional accounts. This is also known as two-factor authentication, two-step authentication, or similar. This added layer of protection requires users to provide additional identify verification to log in, such as scanning a fingerprint or entering a code received via text.
  2. Use a password manager for all your personal and professional accounts. Some examples include LastPassBitwarden, and Keeper Security.
  3. Use a unique password for each account rather than using the same password for multiple different logins. A password manager will make unique passwords for you. Change all of your passwords before 2024!
  4. Freeze your credit to prevent any new accounts from being opened. It’s free in every U.S. state to freeze and unfreeze your credit file. This also prevents anyone, including identify thieves, from viewing details of your credit history. (This also helps to protect your credit score because each inquiry by a creditor has the potential to lower that score.)
  5. Pull your free annual credit report through annualcreditreport.com and review it for any unauthorized accounts.
  6. Pay attention to any “password reset” emails you receive. If you didn’t request a change, something is wrong! The same applies for MFA alerts you may receive when you are not trying to log in. MFA will prevent a password reset or unauthorized login from occurring, but these alerts mean someone may be trying to hack your accounts.
  7. Limit the personal information that you provide online (employer, schools, birthday, address, phone, etc.). If you like the attention from your connections online wishing you a happy birthday, list your birthday as the day before. You’ll still receive the greetings, but hackers won’t be able to use your birthdate against you.
  8. Don’t talk to strangers! In addition to the more obvious rule about not clicking suspicious or mysterious links, never reply to emails, texts, or phone calls from unknown people or questionable sources. It’s best to block, mark as junk, or delete these communications as they can be an attempt to verify your contact info or engage you for nefarious means.