We’ve all experienced bizarre emails in our inbox and correspondences that seemed suspicious even before opening them, so we know that our email accounts aren’t the most private or secure. Yet, we still use them daily for private matters. The threat of an information breach in your inbox is there whether you’re an individual or a business, though businesses face much larger risks. Individuals may experience the theft of their banking information, their photos, their tax documents, and other confidential information that could compromise their identity. Businesses, however, can not only experience similar theft, but also theft of the information of those they serve, like patients, clients, customers, etc. This makes the risk far greater, given the responsibility businesses have to keep this sensitive data safe.
This begs the question, how extreme is the risk of using our email accounts for storing and sharing confidential information? What can we do to be safer, and what measures should we take if we’ve already been compromised? We at A Shred Ahead consider ourselves to be in the business of keeping others and their data safe, so read on for some of our insight and tips for upping your digital data security when it comes to your inbox.
Out of all the spam and potentially hazard emails you receive unwanted in your inbox, one of the biggest dangers to look out for is called a phishing scheme. This is one threat businesses in particular really need to be on a vigilant lookout for and take every precaution. In this case, a potential hacker will send you what appears to be a normal, legitimate email. Why you? It’s likely you wound up on his or her list because the person hacked into someone else’s email account to get to you, or he or she was able to make an email address look very real. Regardless of how he ended up there, his intention of contacting you is to get inside access to your company and maybe even your money.
In a phishing scheme, the hacker’s email will likely include an embedded link for you to click on. This is where he’ll get you. If you click that link, it enables the hacker to download malware onto your system, giving him easy access to your user IDs, passwords, records, customer information, financial information, and data files. Sound scary? It is, and it’s highly effective, which is why it happens every day. It doesn’t stop there, though. This schemes often lead to ransomware attacks and more email compromise scams, and they don’t just happen to the people at the top of your employee’s ladder. These attacks can target every single person in your account, whatever it takes to get in the door.
Ransomware, mentioned above, is a type of malicious software typically carried out through the use of a Trojan. The consequence for falling victim to ransomware is often being blocked from accessing your own information or be threatened with having your confidential information deleted or made public until a “ransom” of some sort is collected. These attacks range in severity, but it can get pretty bad, like in the case of cryptoviral extortion. Cryptoviral extortion encrypts a victim’s files so they’re completely inaccessible without a decryption key, and it’s very difficult to trace the hacker who has this key. This is highly problematic for individuals, but it can ruin businesses, making it all the more important to be extremely careful when opening emails and absolutely critical to exercise extreme caution when clicking email links.
If you’ve stumbled upon this article because you’ve already found yourself to be the victim of an email attack, there are several steps you need to take to get back on track.
Another way digital hackers get your personal information is through theft of your hard drive. Improper disposal of these means fraudsters don’t have to do much to reach your information because you’re practically giving it to them. By leaving an old or unused hard drive lying around in an unmonitored storage unit, donating it, or throwing it away, you’re leaving a large amount of sensitive data vulnerable to theft if the wrong person with the right knowhow gets ahold of it. Merely deleting files off your computer before getting rid of it doesn’t undo what’s been saved on a deeper level. The only true way to stay protected is through reliable hard drive shredding.
A Shred Ahead’s trusted hard drive destruction services ensure that all your data is completely destroyed for good with no chance of any bit being left behind to steal. We have the experience and advanced equipment to full shred and destroy computer hard drives, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, SD cards, and more. We’re a true partner in your security, helping individuals and businesses all over the southeast keep their information and the information they’re responsible for safe and private.
Call us today to find out more about how to keep yourself safe when it comes to digital accounts and devices, and be sure to ask how we can help increase your security with professional hard drive destruction!
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