Tips to protect yourself against hackers in 2017

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To protect yourself from hackers and violations of data requires constant vigilance. Tips from last year do not necessarily stick to the attacks this year. The reality is: cyber criminals are constantly testing new ways to beat the system, new defenses and evolving tactics to stay out of danger.

Online security issues more than ever, here’s what you need to know to protect yourself in 2017.

Do not expect the government to protect you

Once upon a time, conventional wisdom was in the computer services companies to maintain the violations of the public. The assumption was that revealing a copycat hacker attack would inspire, reward cyber crime and cause unnecessary panic. In addition, the technicians of the alleged victims did not know what to do with the information to be known.

Things began to change in 2002, when California became the first state in the nation to approve a law of safety violation notification properly. With this law were private information companies about California residents are required to inform customers if they even suspected a security breach.

With California in the lead, followed by many other states. Now 47 US states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands all passed laws requiring companies and governments to people with security breaches that can put their privacy at risk informed. These laws have changed the dynamics of data breaches in favor of the little guy. If you are informed of a breach, you can take action, such as changing your password or perhaps a credit card that can cancel exposed.

“They have people could take action to protect their information,” Pam Greenberg, a researcher at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told CBS News. “Before the law, they may not have had the opportunity. They may not have known was their information out there “.

But even protected, not everyone in 2017. Three states – Alabama, New Mexico and South Dakota – still do not have the laws of notification of violation of security on books. New Mexico, recently passed this type of legislation, but Susana Martinez Gov. Has not yet signed this bill. (In general, where you live is what determines the disclosure laws, in your case.)

If you live in one of these states, beware: You do not have the same protection as your neighbors. Businesses and governments have no legal obligations from Alabama, New Mexico and South Dakota to inform residents when their personal data is compromised.

Beware of impostors on the phone

It is now a good time to be skeptical when you answer the phone.

Cheaters, Fake IRS agents for technical support staff false officially caught up with identity thieves at the top of the list of consumer complaints of fraud, according to a March report by the Federal Trade Commission. These scams are like a huge cost: individuals pretending to other people consumers cost $ 744,500,000 in total in 2016, with the average loss of $ 1,124, according to government officials. Impostor scams can take many forms: for example, a person posing as an “IRS agent”, calling for tax arrears or fake “police” calls for paying the ticket collection requirements of traffic.

How can you avoid these pitfalls? Please note that normally do not use government phone representatives to request payment information or request that your social security number. If someone claims to be from the IRS asks you to request your personal information – hang it, it’s a scam.

Be wary of requests to send money via prepaid cards or gift cards (which scammers preferred because they trace almost impossible). Never accept a person or online “technical support” pop-up who asks you to download control software or transfer your computer to a problem that you do not understand to solve. Consider using services such as Nomorobo or Hiya to block robo calls — select machine calls that criminals often use to find their victims.

Know what attacks can look like

If you read the time and energy, the new data leaks can regularly help the necessary antennas to feel when something to develop suspicious digital reach your threshold. Websites such as World Tech News  and post threat are dedicated to tracking the latest threats and our CNET and ZDNet partner sites report extensively on technical security issues.

Earlier this month, for example, Tech News of the World has broken a series of sophisticated phishing attacks on Gmail users who come from trusted contacts whose accounts are affected. Attacks are particularly annoying because they display “accounts.gmail.com” in the browser’s address bar, the main users of what appears to be a genuine Google login page. Once the users of their credentials, hacked into their Google accounts, warned the site.

Let a password manager do the job for you

Data security is nothing without basic password protection. Think of a password when you think about sunscreen: a cheap, low-effort daily practice that can help prevent a terrible problem along the line. Stay away from passwords that are real words or sequential series of numbers. Passwords like “password” and “123456” lists of regularly superior commonly used passwords, and they will not do much to deter a hacker. Never give your name or other easily identifiable information in your password. (What is “recognized”? First, all information is public on your Facebook profile.)

Perhaps the most important (and a tip that is often ignored): Never use the same password on more than one place. Hackers can get a site less secure violated, and then use the stolen information to attempt to access your emails or bank accounts. Do not help them by reusing the same password.

Instead, the uncomfortable truths accept that the best passwords are those that remember the most difficult: long and random strings of letters and numbers.

Looks like a lot to keep in mind at the same time? Password managers like Last Pass, KeePass and 1Password can do all the work for you by automatically generating hard-to-crack passwords to save them on all your devices. As a bonus, these tools are there when your memory fails: a February CBS News survey found that about one in four people at a computer password reset at least once a month.

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