How To Protect Your Accounts From Fraud
Posted by Richard on January 12, 2023
The internet provides endless conveniences. Unfortunately, however, it also offers fraudsters a plethora of ways to scam businesses and people. The web may have shrunk the world, but that may make it easier to bump into bad-faith actors. Account takeovers are one of the biggest threats, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Step one. You should enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This way, whenever you log into an account, the website will send an email or text message with a code. Importantly, even if a fraudster has your password, they will also need access to your phone or email. While it’s somewhat common for passwords to get exposed, it’s less likely that a scammer will have both your cell phone and your account password. Likewise, someone might snatch your phone, but they still need the account password.
Researchers have found that 2FA can prevent up to 100 percent of bot attacks and 90 percent of targeted attacks. Bot attacks are especially dangerous. Many scammers prefer brute force attacks, meaning they try random passwords over and over again until they gain access. Manually plugging in passwords would take a long time. But here’s the thing: Hackers can simply use automated bots to test passwords. They can upload a list of common passwords, and then have these bots run them and see if they can gain access. Financial institutions report that over 70 percent of login attempts likely come from malicious bots.
So, step two. You need to use a complex, hard-to-guess password. Add in a few random numbers and symbols, and cApITaLiZE at least a few random letters.
Step three. Don’t reuse passwords for different accounts. Unfortunately, your bank or favorite electronics store might someday suffer a data breach and expose your login details. Then, fraudsters can buy lists of these passwords. If your bank password provides access to your Amazon or eBay account, you can quickly lose control of them.