Two Steps To Lock Out Cyber Thieves

SIOUX FALLS, SD -Just this week, the IRS says a data breach is much bigger than it originally disclosed, with hundreds of thousands of more people having their information stolen from an agency website.  It can leave all of us feeling powerless to protect our personal data from cyber thieves.  But the head of the National Cyber Security Alliance was in Sioux Falls today to tell consumers they can do more.

All it takes is two simple steps.

We’re all told to use long and strong passwords every time we create an online account.  The problem is the password system is out-of-date.

“And they’re just faulty. They can be cracked by password crackers the bad guys use.  They can be stolen from businesses so people can get into your accounts, People can be lured through phishing to reveal their password when they shouldn’t.  They’re really not a great system, they never have been a great system,” Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, said.

That why the National Cyber Security Alliance wants you to use two-step authentication.

Here’s how it works:
Go to the settings of your online account and enter a phone number or alternate email.
When you want to access your account, you’ll get a verification code, either sent by email or in a text to your phone.
You enter that one-time only code along with your user name and password to log in.

“But it’s available on Gmail and Facebook and Twitter,” Kaiser said.

Updating all your software, not just your anti-virus or security software is also a step you can take to keep out hackers.

“And this includes your mobile devices.  Let’s face it, a lot of us have a little folder on it with a number on it–that’s the number of apps we have yet to update.  Those updates are really critical.  They have security updates,” Kaiser said.

Kaiser says more cyber protection is coming for consumers in the form of biometric identification, like Apple’s touch ID as well as device identifiers.  Plus two-step identification will be more universal within the next year.

“So I’d be able to use that log in in other places across the Internet and that’s going to make it so much easier for people,” Kaiser said.

Most people don’t want to take the time to set up two-step verification now, but if you consider the time it takes to clear up your accounts after getting hacked, it’s worth it.

Source: Keloland Television

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