Computer security concept

What's the take-away? How are you affected?

By now you've likely heard about the Equifax breach that has affected an estimated 143 million Americans as well as approximately 100,000 Canadians. The story boils down to this: Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency. This means that they collect information on individuals' borrowing and billpaying habits, then provide a summary of it to businesses that offer credit.

Unfortunately, this month cybercriminals accessed some 143 million personal data records, including people's full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver license numbers. Equifax also confirmed at least 209,000 consumers' credit card credentials were also taken in the attack.

This is simply the latest large data theft by criminals (or, in some cases, by
foreign governments) ...
eBay - May 2014 - millions of usernames, passwords, phone numbers and
addresses stolen
JPMorgan Chase - September 2014 - 83,000,000 customer names and
contact info was stolen
OPM - April 2015 - 5,600,000 fingerprints and background check details stolen
IRS - May 2015 - 700,000 social security numbers and other sensitive
information stolen
Philippine Commission on Elections - March 2016 - entire database of
voters stolen

A pattern is emerging that makes one thing crystal clear: we need good security habits because our data has become a valuable target for the bad guys. Improving your security practices is not difficult, and it immediately lowers the risk for yourself and your company.

These days, it's almost guaranteed that someone will try to gain access to your sensitive data; so you need to put your defenses in place now.

What sort of practical steps can we take?
1. Make sure you have a proper antivirus program running on your system
(more info here)
2. Be internet smart (more info here)
3. Use good password practices
4. Update regularly - patches can save your system
5. Avoid scam emails

Steps 1 and 2 have been covered in more detail in previous newsletters - please click the links for more information. Steps 3-5 will be covered in more detail in upcoming newsletters so look forward to that. If you are still concerned about your business' security, email with the subject line "Free Security Consultation" and we will arrange a free 30-minute security examination at a time that is convenient for you.

Call or email us today for more info on IT services!

Tags: , , ,