When a data breach occurs, your personal information may be at risk. Your emails and passwords, social security number, credit or banking information, and other sensitive data may be obtained by the intruder. Not every data breach is intentional, however we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks each year. A data breach can happen in many ways, including the theft of a laptop from a hotel lobby, or even a document with sensitive information taken from an office. Many of the data breaches that are making headlines are very intentional cybercrime efforts including ransomware, phishing, SQL injections, and more. With each year increasing in the amount of people affected by a data breach, in 2021 it was reported by the FBI that a total of $6.9 billion was lost due to internet crime.
Although no one and no company is immune to being victim to an infiltration, many of these cyber criminals target small businesses or anywhere they can interfere with a point of sale and steal financial data. Once your data and identity is stolen the bad actor who has access to your information likely has the ability to use your funds by transferring the money to different accounts or even withdraw the money, set up a credit card associated with your name, apply for benefits or receive medical treatments, open accounts in your name, or even commit tax fraud and receive your tax return. Oftentimes the data may not even be used by those who stole it, but shared on the dark web and available for purchase by those who do want to use it.
There are steps you can take to help protect yourself from these bad actors:
- Set up multi factor authentication on each device you use
- Set up strong passwords that are not alike for each account and change them often
- Monitor your accounts and set up alerts for any changes
- Be aware of phishing emails and report them if you receive any
- Be aware of spam callers posing as a trusted institution like your utility provider
As a consumer, your steps to understanding and protecting yourself from a data breach are different than if you are part of the team in charge of data safe keeping through an organization. Although large organizations are still greatly affected by data breaches, they typically have teams and protocols in place to prevent a data breach. Sometimes these protocols help ensure safety for the consumer, but the responsibility of protecting yourself likely falls into your hands. With small businesses becoming an easier target due to potential lack of knowledge or they just don’t have the resources to put the necessary safeguarding in place, it is important to understand what to look for.
Small businesses are often being utilized by a cybercriminal to find their way into a larger organization, and the breach can go undetected for some time. As a consumer, look for a few things to make sure you aren’t letting a potential hack go unnoticed.
- Check your bank account often – don’t let small amount purchases go unchecked
- Check the emails and direct mail you receive from your small businesses and be aware of their return address and if they are asking for anything
- Beware of calls from local numbers that pose as a business phishing for information
- Don’t trust a number just because it is a text message – text is becoming a popular tool to steal your data
- Educate yourself on liability and shop according to what makes the most sense for your safety
To learn more about offering protection services to your clients or customers, you can trust Enforta to guide you to building a safe environment that protects your identity and data. Enforta understands that the changing landscape of cybercrime means that you or your customers need the protection and knowledge to stay safe. To be a part of a solution that protects you can reach out to us today for a free demo.