I asked my friend Ken Romer, a Certified Ethical Hacker with over 17 years of experience to give us some tips to prevent being hacked. Ken has a wealth of knowledge on internet and computer security. Ken believes most people can significantly improve their chances of not being attacked by taking the following basic preventative measures.
ATM or Debit Card Use
First beware of the device you are using for swiping your debit card. Does it look normal or is something odd. It could have a skimmer attached. This is a device designed to fit over the card reader and collect your information. I try to never use my PIN when using my debit card at stores. Use only a credit card. Why give more information than you have too.
I only use a credit card when shopping online. In addition I try not to shop at an online store that wants me to create an account and store all my information. This is a goldmine for hackers. I never use a debit card online, because Banks sometimes treat them different than credit cards as far as your liability. Check with your bank. Lastly the debit card is attached directly to your checking or savings account. If it is compromised the bad guy could clean out your cash.
Be sure to password protect your cell/smart phone. Make sure it has an auto lock feature. Why? Most of us have a wealth of information on our phone and if stolen a lot of that data could be used against us.
Social Security Numbers
Never give out your Social Security number. At this time many medical providers ask for it on the initial paperwork you fill out. They have no reason to have your social security number and I never provide it to them. Why is this a concern? If you provide it and the hacker steals your medical records that is a big problem. The bad guy now has you Social, name, address, and date of birth. Everything required to steal you identity. Medical information is ten times more valuable than credit card information on the black market because of this data.
Be aware of what you opening. Does it seem a bit weird? Is the grammar or spelling not quite right. Even if the senders address is correct. The sender's address may be a bit different than you are used to seeing. Are they asking you to click on a link or open an attachment? If you are unsure ask the sender if they sent it. Most times an odd looking email is an attack and not from the person you think sent it.
This attack involves a bad guy running a cracking attack against your accounts. Utilizing a specially created tool they will load a password dictionary file and try thousands of passwords per second until they find a hit. You should have a difficult to guess password. In my opinion the length of the password is more important than the complexity. The norm in today’s world is to have an 8 character password, so for every character over 8 you use it will be a safer. The reason is most hackers will be looking for 8 or less. A password of thisoldmanheplayedone would be very hard to break. If you added a number or two at the end it is even tougher. Also it is very easy to remember.
Below is a list of the 25 most common passwords of 2014. If these are one of yours you are a sitting duck as a hacker will always try these first.
123456, password, 12345678, qwerty, abc123, 123456789, 111111, 1234567, iloveyou, adobe123, 123123, admin, 1234567890, letmein, photoshop, 1234, monkey, shadow, sunshine, 12345, password1, princess, azerty, trustno1, 000000
Kenneth Romer is a Certified Ethical Hacker with over 17 years of experience and can be reached at 1-855-369-4867 or his website is www.itms.us.com.
As you know, I am a Personal Injury Attorney based in West Palm Beach, Florida. If you have any questions regarding our practice or would like to discuss a legal matter involving an injury that you have suffered, please contact us at (561)682-9060 or you can visit our website at www.pbcinjuryattorney.com.