Reducing IT Fraud

Recently we had a post on some of the many ways that Long View works to ensure security, both for our corporation and for our clients.

As a follow up to that post, I wanted to now share some of the steps that Long View recommends individuals take in order to reduce instances of IT fraud. We are all invested in preventing online crime, and it starts with the habits and activities of each individual person.

Much of this should be common sense to most by now, but it never hurts to have a refresher of the core basics.

1. Ensure that the computer and the software you are using to connect to the Internet is fully patched and up to date for OS updates as well as antivirus protection. Antivirus protection should have daily pattern file updates and regularly scheduled scans enabled.

2. Use complex and hard to guess passwords. To add complexity, use long passwords and try using easy to remember phrases or misspell words & add “speshul ch@ract3r$”.

3. One of the most common mistakes is to re-use passwords across multiple accounts.  Remembering and maintaining unique usernames and passwords can be nearly impossible. To make this easier create and stick to a password management tool that assists you with creating, storing, and accessing your passwords. If possible, try to use other password methods such as biometrics, tokens, and others. And don’t forget to enable passwords on your phones and tablets!

4. Trust nothing! If you are unsure if a site or a download is safe, assume it isn’t and stay away. If an email looks unusual or you don’t know the sender, don’t open it or access links/attachments. If someone is requesting information from you that would require you to share personal details, ensure that you can verify that person’s legitimacy before you share anything.

5. Share on social networks sparingly, and use their settings to increase your privacy. Most social networks will have default privacy settings that share abundant information about you. Change them to share minimal information.

6. Someone trying to guess your password can use any information you provide. If a person adds you to their network and you don’t know them, consider not accepting their request.

7. Secure your home wireless connection. Change your default SSID (network name) and apply secure passwords to connect and manage your network.

Of course, there is no perfect system to prevent IT fraud, but following these key steps diligently should help ensure that individuals are safer when online.

I hope this is useful! Thanks for reading today!