By Michael Levin

The Equifax Security Breach – 5 Recommendations to Protect Yourself!

Equifax, one of the three major U.S. based credit reporting services just announced a major data breach where hackers have stolen sensitive information from 143 million American consumers.

“Subscribe to a credit monitoring service and / or lock your credit.”

Ways that the Equifax security breach WILL affect you:

  • Personally – Your personal and family’s identity information is now at risk and will be targeted!
  • Company – Your businesses could be affected and targeted.
  • Nationally – Terrorist, Nation States and organized crime groups could be involved or use this data to commit cybercrime to obtain funds.

Protecting yourself is not complicated!

5 recommendations to protect yourself immediately:

  • Subscribe to a credit monitoring service and/or lock your credit. The quickest way to be notified that your credit is compromised is through a credit monitoring service. Equifax has already started the process of setting up free credit monitoring for those involved. Other credit monitoring services are available and should be considered.
  • Monitor all your financial accounts including credit cards and all bank accounts. Ensure that all notifications are turned on. Make sure you are receiving immediate text and email notifications for any changes in your account or increased balances or transactions.
  • Protect your bank and financial accounts, ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on for all accounts. Learn about two factor authentication and turn it on for all financial accounts.
  • Phishing email messages can be your biggest daily risk! Slow down when handling email messages. Stop automatically clicking on every email link and attachment you get. Instead of clicking on links and attachments in email messages, go independently to the sites outside of the email message. When you receive an email, you were not expecting from a name you recognize consider contacting the sender independently before you click on links or attachments.
  • Strong passwords – consider changing all your passwords. Develop strong passwords and protect them. Use different passwords for your accounts.

Other Security Considerations:

  • Backup all computers and update operating systems and software regularly.
  • Social media security – Sharing too much information on social media increases the risk you will be victimized. For example, telling the world, you are on vacation with pictures opens the risk your home will be burglarized.
  • Secure your devices – Don’t leave your laptop, phone or tablet unattended even for a moment. Don’t leave anything in your car you don’t want stolen because it’s just a matter of time.
  • Internet of things and device management – Understand how all your devices connect to the Internet and what information you are sharing. Check security setting for all devices including smart watches and fitness bands.

The value of security awareness training:

  • This is another crime, where security awareness training can help to reduce risk. Being aware of new crimes and scams in the news is a fundamental part of security awareness training. Ensuring that employees, family and friends are aware of this scam will greatly reduce the likelihood that you will be victimized.
  • Sharing new scams and crimes you hear about in the news with others, is important to ensure that the people you care about do not fall victim to these types of crimes.
  • The Center for Information Security Awareness (CFISA) has been providing online and in-person security awareness training since 2007. The CFISA security awareness training stresses the importance of education and understanding the current risk and scams as an important way to protect yourself against these types of crimes.
  • Ongoing security awareness training is a great way to educate yourself to the risk associated to this important issue.

Do you need help with security awareness training for your employees?

Contact CFISA and we will help you with a training option to fit your budget! Request a quote here.

Security awareness training options can be found at the Center for Information Security Awareness – CFISA www.cfisa.org

Copyright © 2017 – The Center for Information Security Awareness
1 https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

In 2007, Michael Levin retired from the United States Department of Homeland Security after a distinguished thirty-year career in law enforcement. Michael served at the Department of Homeland Security as the Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division. Michael previously served as the Branch Chief of the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force program in Washington DC. Michael was a member of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Special Agent program and worked around computer forensics and cybercrime investigations for over fifteen years.

After this distinguished career and seeing the need, Michael founded the Center for Information Security Awareness. The CFISA (cfisa.org) brought together a group of leading academics, security and fraud experts to explore ways to increase security awareness among many audiences, including consumers, employees, businesses and law enforcement.

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