CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - An email comes in. It looks legitimate but fortunately for the small business who was the intended target, it’s intercepted by Rocus Network cyber security experts. While email is still a favored delivery method by hackers, the hacking itself has evolved.
“They will either use your email to send to people you know and try to get information from that or they will steal your data and use that to create rules in the email account that will send you sensitive information,” says John Britton, Director of Operations at Rocus Networks. “So if you do send anything like invoices, or money, they will use key words to send the emails to them thus gaining them additional information.”
And Britton says they won’t stop at your email.
“Hackers have the understanding to not only go from the email and take the data from that, but then also pivot to cloud based storage systems and or even Facebook to get more information on you."
So what can you do?
First change your passwords. Avoid any words or names or dates that have personal meaning to you. Instead, Britton advises choosing a string of unrelated word.
“I would not use my son’s name which is 18 characters,” he says, “but having something like blue car tree house would be a lot more harder for a hacker to hack than having something related to you."
Make sure your email platform has two factor authentication. That means if someone attempts to login to your email, the platform must text or call you to get your authorization.
Britton explains, “You can tie it to your mobile device, you can tie it to a secondary email account. Or in some cases where you don’t have a mobile device or any additional emails, you can actually tie it to a landline where they’ll phone you with the code. Obviously it makes it a little harder, slower for you to get into these accounts but ultimately really locks down the ability of the hacker to manipulate the amount they view.”
Finally, if you’re sick of trying to remember several passwords, there are apps that can help:
Britton recommends using a password management tool.
"That will allow the tool to store the passwords for you and also automatically generate them. And if you are using them, have a really complex password that you can remember. So you only have to remember one and then the password management tool can remember everything else.”
And compared to the pain of recovering from identity theft, ruined credit and a drained bank account, It’s well worth the time to put these tips to work.