With Data Privacy Day upon us TopMail, a secure email provider who we’ve featured in our Business Showcase previously, conducted a survey regarding online security. They released results of a new survey, that found 83% of people use the same password for more than one account online.

Yusuf Yeganeh, Managing Director, Microbyte, a IT Support & Solutions Company says, “It might be easy to remember just one password and use it across all accounts, but you could end up leaving yourself extremely vulnerable to cybercrime. If someone has managed to access one account then it’s likely they’ll try their luck with other accounts too, and you’re then giving them a free pass to do so.”

The survey carried out by TopMail was done with 118 participants, the results show:

– Nearly seven in 10 (68%) of the participants have sent personal information through an email such as bank details, date of birth, place of birth and passwords.
– 47% have purchased something online through a Public WI-FI.
– 15% have been scammed online with their bank details.

Commenting on purchasing online through Public WI-FI, Josh Goldfarb, VP, CTO – Emerging Technologies of FireEye, who are a leader in cyber security, said:

“One of the main challenges with public Wi-Fi is that we never quite know what type of infrastructure we’re connecting to. Are we connecting to a legitimate Wi-Fi network that is adequately protected? Or, are we connecting to a Wi-Fi network that an attacker has compromised? Or, perhaps we are connecting to a Wi-Fi network that an attacker has complete control of? Of course, we can never really know for sure. What can an attacker do with control of a Wi-Fi network? There are many possibilities, but among them are the ability to see our activity, as well as the ability to redirect users to illegitimate sites designed to phish credentials and financial information from them.”

Niall Mackey, a cyber security expert, at TopMail, offered his opinion regarding sending personal and sensitive information through emails,
“The dangers of sending seemingly innocuous information like your name, date of birth and address to third parties via email are significant. This information in conjunction with information from trawling social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook etc. can enable someone to steal your identity. Once they have your identity then they can really have some fun by organising loans, credit cards, buying on line or from a work perspective ‘Spear Phishing’ with your information.”

“Phishing is a huge issue now and especially spear phishing where a hacker compromises or spoofs say the CEO in an organisation, monitors their email traffic and how they communicate and then spoofs an email to say the CFO asking for funds to be transferred for a particular project. We have also seen changing payment details to a different bank and changing delivery addresses to redirect stock. This could all stem from a simple matter of them having information gleaned from your email and researching you on social media!!”

Expert tips to Say Safe Online from TopMail, FireEye and Microbyte

1. Make sure your computer is up to date with all its updates and security protection like Anti-virus, spyware etc.
2. Use a secure email service like Topmail that can send your information encrypted, so if it’s intercepted it’s of no use to the 3rd parties. A service like Topmail will also prevent most Phishing emails making their way to you as well.
3. Use strong and differing passwords for all on-line accounts.
4. Ask 3rd parties you are sending information to how they store and protect your data.
5. Financial providers will very rarely ask you for this kind of information over email so ring them up especially if the email is trying to rush or scare you – this is a common tactic used by Phishers.
6. Because it is difficult to assess the safety of a public Wi-Fi network, users should ideally only connect to Wi-Fi networks that they know and trust
7. Use a two-step verification process and always keep files encrypted especially if they are of high importance, that way if they do get hacked they will be unreadable to outside sources.’

For more information visit Topmail.com

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