Cyber-criminals are constantly changing their methods and targets of attack. For some months, Yahoo email accounts have been targeted and once the passwords have been compromised, we have seen large amounts of SPAM being sent to the recipients of their address books. The messages usually follow one or two formats, a single line of text with a link to click or a phony plea for help where the sender asks for money to get home from a foreign country after they were robbed.
Yahoo is by no means the only service subject to this attack; they are only one of the most recent and high profile targets. My own sister’s account was compromised. Once I helped her change her email password, the problem was solved.
There are two simple ways to protect yourself from having your email and other valuable accounts hijacked. First, choose a strong password that is at least 8 characters long. The best passwords incorporate uppercase, lowercase, numbers and non alpha-numeric characters. An example of a strong password would be “4$c0r3@ndSev3n”, it would be easy to remember fourscoreandseven as part of the Gettysburg Address but the substitution of numbers, capital letters and non alpha-numeric characters makes it far less likely that a computer program or hacker would be able to guess your credentials. When you choose your password, you can use a favorite line from a song, movie, book or poem. Just choose something you can remember.
It is also inadvisable to use words that can easily be guessed (ie: The names and birth dates of your family members) and never leave your passwords written down in or around your computer. Another important way to keep your private data from being compromised is not to allow your web browsers to remember your password. Some browsers store saved passwords as readable plain text that can be accessed by anyone with access to your computer, either remotely or in person.
There are many more methods to secure your data and identity but these are good places to start.
Business invariably slows down in December. Now is a great time to set up the plans and procedures that will help you achieve greater success in the coming year.
Sphere of Influence: How are you keeping in contact with your friends, neighbors and former clients?
Advertising: Do you know what kind of return you are getting for your advertising dollar?
Prospect tracking: When you do pick up a prospective buyer or seller, do you know what made them pick you?
Web Presence and Social Media: Most buyers begin their search for a new home more than a year before they commit. What resources does your website provide that will keep them coming back?
Search engine optimization: what steps do you take to put yourself at the top of the search providers real estate results?
Call PROTech at (727)344-7767. We can help you find the answers and the tools that will put money in YOUR pocket.