We often hear about the risks of being hacked or having our identity stolen, but do you ever imagine it happening to you? In today's digital landscape, we tend to accumulate more passwords than we can easily manage, sometimes resorting to using a single password for multiple accounts (which, as we know, isn't a secure practice). Despite having what I believed to be strong passwords, it became evident that mine weren't strong enough. I faced the unfortunate ordeal of a significant hacking incident affecting my Meta business, Instagram, Facebook pages, and the credit cards crucial for my business operations.
At that moment, the question that lingered in my mind was, 'Why would someone target me?' Due to my business Instagram accounts, I became a target for a hacker. It's bewildering how easily someone can disrupt your life and upend your entire business. When you hear about this happening to someone else, you think that terrible and then move on with your day. When it becomes personal—when it's happening to YOU—these questions arise: 'Why me? Why now?' My holiday sales were gone! It took 5 weeks before most elements were back under my name. I have to rebuild two assets that are gone.
As a business owner, I manage many accounts requiring passwords. Now all passwords are undergoing changes. In the past, we could get away with a simple 4 or 5-letter password, maybe with a number or an exclamation mark. However, those days are long behind us. So, is it time for you to overhaul and possibly choose a better way to stored your passwords? I'm not the first, and certainly will not be the last, to fall victim to hacking. Yet, here are some immediate suggestions to increase your security of important accounts that need to be protected.
Consider these tips:
Install and USE a password manager. I have used 1Password for years. It is only as good as the user of the app. I simply got lazy and did not make the effort to add all my passwords into the app. I like 1Password because it will make a suggestion that is stronger than anyone I would create. All I need to do is open the app for the password, when I am unable to recall the long string of letters and numbers! There is pricing for Individuals as well as Families.
Use mobile based payment systems such a Apple Pay or Google Pay verses credit and debit cards. For business that is not always an option
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on your accounts. This means you will have a password and then you download an authenticator app such as Goggle Authenticator on your phone which verifies it is you for any payments and such, you can also use facial recognition which I am now using.
Don't fall into a Phishing trap - this is an attempt to steal data or money using links in an email, or fake websites. Never click on a link or download an attachment from an unknown source. The email may look like its from your bank and it isn't!
Don't oversharing on Social Media and use different passwords for different Social Media apps - also turn on two-factor authentication!