One of the most important duties we have at Komando.com is to keep you informed of the latest digital threats. Since cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to wreak havoc, we need to stay one step ahead. Data breaches, phishing scams, and ransomware attacks are just a few examples of things to watch for.
Hackers are not the only ones putting our online security at risk, though. Sometimes, people jeopardize their own security with the choices they make. A recent study shows that Americans are huge risk takers when it comes to digital safety.
How Americans are risking digital safety
A study, conducted by market researchers at OnePoll, labels America as a nation of "digital risk takers."
What are "digital risks," you ask? Well, they include many of the things that we often warn you not to do. Things like clicking on links or attachments in emails from someone you don't know, or using the same password on multiple sites. Yikes!
No matter what kind of antivirus software and firewall protection is on your computer, if you engage in risky online behavior, it cannot protect you.
Can you guess which group of people are the worst offenders? It's Millennials. This is a bit surprising since they grew up with a computer and should be well informed on security basics.
There were 2,000 Americans surveyed to complete the study. Here are some of the digital risks people surveyed admitted to taking:
- Nearly 45 percent use the same password for multiple sites, including bank accounts
- 30 percent either rarely or never change their passwords
- 80 percent have clicked "I have read and understand this agreement" without actually reading it
- 20 percent have deleted posts from Facebook and other social media sites after realizing they shared too much personal data
Since we now know that people are still making bad choices while being online, let's go over some digital rules to live by.
Ways to keep your digital life safe
- Investigate your email address - Have I Been Pwned is an easy-to-use site with a database of information that hackers and malicious programs have released publicly. It monitors hacker sites and collects new data every five to 10 minutes about the latest hacks and exposures.
- Change your password - Whenever you hear news of a data breach, it's a good idea to change your account passwords. Read this article to help you create hack-proof passwords.
- Close unused accounts - Here's an easy way to manage all of your online accounts at once.
- Beware of phishing scams - Scammers will try and piggyback on data breaches and other scams that are making headlines. They will create phishing emails, pretending to be the affected company, hoping to get victims to click on malicious links that could lead to more problems. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
- Manage passwords - Many people use the same username and password on multiple sites. This is a terrible practice and you should never do it. If you're using the same credentials on multiple sites, change them to make them unique. If you have too many accounts to remember, you could always use a password manager.
- Keep an eye on your bank accounts - You should be frequently checking your bank statements, looking for suspicious activity. If you see anything that seems strange, report it immediately.
- Check email security settings - If you hear news of a website being hacked, make sure your email account associated with the hacked site has updated security settings.
- Have strong security software - Protecting your gadgets with strong security software is important. It's the best defense against digital threats.