Be careful of your online account! Google has reported a 33 percent increase in cybercriminal-related activities, which led them to issue over 50,000 warnings up to date. Google recommended its users to update their security details now and avoid falling victim to password breach strategies.
Ajax Bash, a member of the Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG), warned about large-scale phishing campaigns on the internet. Some of these are from the Russian hacking group APT 28 (Fancy Bear) and the Iranian hacking group APT 35 (Charming Kitten).
In particular, APT 35 previously attempted uploading a fake VPN app in Google Play Store, designed to steal data from the victim's phone. Google detected the app and removed it before any of its users installed the malicious program.
Google Warning: How to Increase Account Security
To protect your account from hackers, PCMag suggested using Google's new Advanced Protection Program. The program is free and available to all. It includes features like security keys, security tips, and device protection.
They also suggested for users to activate two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step verification. This should limit access of an online account to a user with their physical device.
Google Warning Password Breach: How to Improve Passwords
Also, keep in mind that passwords are the first line of defense to any account. This might sound like a simple advice, but it remains one of the most effective ways to safeguard an account.
According to the 2016 Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, per CNBC, "Among baby boomers, 58 percent still don't use secure passwords. And digitally native millennials are even more vulnerable."
Here are six pointers provided by CNBC that should help boost password security:
6. Don't use a simple password
Many people continue to exploit the "12345" or "password" type of password for their online accounts, which are easily guessed by malicious actors. When creating a strong password, use at least 12 characters with letters, numbers and symbols. The longer a password gets, the better security it has.
5. Activate multi-factor authentication
Spread the security of an online account by activating this feature. Keep in mind that online services that have sensitive information, like banks, Gmail, Slack and Messenger all support 2FA in their system.
4. Activate biometrics
Although not always applicable, smartphones, tablets and laptops are increasingly adding biometrics for improved security. This often includes fingerprint, face recognition and voice recognition.
3. Use different passwords for different accounts.
As tempting as it would be to use one password for all online accounts, having different passwords on other websites would give users double the security. If you have trouble remembering them, write it on a physical paper or do the next step.
2. Apply for a password manager
This program automatically keeps track of the different usernames and passwords registered and saves the user time by automatically filling the password fields. Only use programs from secure brands like Norton, Dashline, LastPass and LogMeOnce.
1. Don't share your password
A password is supposedly kept confidential and would not be requested by banks or online services unless for log-in purposes.
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