2018 has been the year of data breaches and new scams. It seems as though a new company comes out every day with news of an internal or external data breach and an apology. While hackers and scammers are nothing new, it seems that they are more determined than ever to trick you out of your money or information. From IRS impersonations to email phishing campaigns, these criminals are certainly coming up with new ways to grab your information. At MBS Accountancy, we value security and protect our clients’ information with high-grade security measures. Beyond our security measures as a company, however, we recognize that information security is a personal matter as well. To help you protect your information, we’ve listed some basic, yet effective, ways to keep your online accounts and information safe.
Use a password manager
Using a password manager helps you to secure your accounts with passwords that are complex and hacker-resistant. It can also help you to vary your passwords for your online accounts by generating random passwords for each one. Passwords that are 16 characters or longer and contain a mix of alphanumeric and special characters are recommended for optimal security.
Use 2-factor authentication
Using 2FA for your accounts is simple: when you log into your online account, a code is sent to you (through text, email, or mobile app) that you must verify before accessing your account. Although 2FA gives you an additional login step, it is highly recommended that you set it up on all of your online accounts. Every extra step in the login process impedes hackers from easily gaining access to your account.
A popular way that scammers steal passwords and other information is to phish
(request information for malicious purposes) through email for usernames and passwords. Instead of clicking on the link within an email, call the company directly or visit the company’s official site and check your account for notification.
Use Social Media with Caution
There is nothing wrong with using a Facebook account, Instagram, or SnapChat account to stay in contact with friends and family. It is important to always be aware of what you post in your online account; don’t post sensitive or embarrassing information and regularly check your account’s privacy settings. We recommend changing your password to something secure every few months.
Cautiously Pay Online
When entering payment information online, always make sure that the site’s address shows a lock icon or is “HTTPS”, rather than only “HTTP”. Sparing the technical details and jargon, “HTTPS” is more secure than “HTTP” and is used by legitimate companies to protect your payment information.
Secure Your Financial Information
At MBS Accountancy, we have decades of experience in the financial industry and use our knowledge to help you and your company succeed. When dealing with your company‘s finances, it is important to choose trusted professionals who care about the security of your information as much as you do! We demonstrate our strong belief in information security by taking every possible measure to secure our network and business infrastructures from malicious acts. You can be sure that, whether it’s accounting or tax preparation, you’re in trusted hands with MBS Accountancy!