Do you have reminders set to change your passwords once each quarter? Or at least once each year? I know, I know. It can be a pain because it does take some time if you’re going to change ALL of them. BUT if you don’t change your passwords, you increase your risk of a cyber attack on your personal accounts. And if you think it takes a bit of time to change your passwords, think about how much time it will take to put your life back together if even one of your financial accounts gets hacked.
To make life easier, consider using password protector software. You just need to remember one password to get into your system (be sure to change this one out, too), and it will log you into all of your accounts you have saved in the software. Please remember to only log in to accounts when you’re on your own private wifi and never on public wifi.
For additional ways you can protect yourself from cyber threats and cyber attacks, here are some tips from cyber security expert Bryce Austin of TCE Strategy:
- “Ditch the gift cards. They’re just too easy to hack and scam. Stick to cold hard cash if your creative juices have run out (or if that’s all they really want).
- Make sure you have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on all accounts you care about, especially any financial institutions you use. Any fraud involving your bank accounts, emails, and social media accounts this time of year could really put a damper on your holiday plans and add undue stress.
- Consider a gift for your family and friends of a premium plan on a password protector. There are a lot of good choices out there (Dashlane, Lastpass, 1Password, etc.). $60 a year for a family to stay password protected? Now that’s a great gift.
- The start of a new year is a wonderful time to re-evaluate all passwords, practices, security measures and patches. Both for yourself personally and for your business, determine that you won’t go into 2022 vulnerable to cyber attacks.”
Also, in case you haven’t heard about the Apache Log4j2 breach, here’s information from Bryce:
“Apache Log4j2: Shields up, red alert!
Last week, an attack on a previously-unknown vulnerability was discovered and made public. Two huge issues here:
1) The exploit code to take advantage of this vulnerability is available on the Internet for anyone to download, including cybercriminals.
2) The system that it attacks (Apache Log4j2) is in a huge number of things: from Minecraft (yes, that Minecraft) to VMWare of parts of Okta, this is being called the biggest cybersecurity issue in a decade, and it may well turn out to be.
For home users, stop playing Minecraft until further notice. For technology professionals, we have a long road ahead as patches come in from here, there and everywhere. You need to scan your environments for this vulnerability. You need to consider taking impacted systems offline for the time being. If your impacted systems are Internet-facing, TAKE THEM OFFLINE RIGHT NOW. Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200. For developers, start working to update to Apache log4j 2.15.0.
Some antivirus companies are claiming to already be monitoring for attempts to exploit this vulnerability, which is a positive.”
Take a big step today to protect yourself against cyber attacks and increase your cyber security: change your passwords!