The pandemic has brought out the best in many people — and the worst in others. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, data breaches were up 38% in the second quarter of 2021.

To maintain network security, remind your team to use utmost care when responding to emails and clicking links. Here are a few of the most popular hacks targeting your busy staffers:

Phishing: Phishing gets users to divulge key information, usually via emails and texts that look legitimate. Embedded links lead to fake websites where users are asked to enter passwords, financial information, or other protected data.

Spear phishing is more sophisticated. With spear phishing, a particular set of users is researched and targeted, so emails and other communications appear to be from a friend, colleague, or boss, meaning recipients are more likely to respond with the information requested.

Brute force: This type of attack applies computing power to try repeated logins using millions of combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. This is especially effective with shorter, common passwords.

Social engineering: Think all those online quizzes and polls are just for fun? Hackers use social platforms to collect data using seemingly innocuous games. By compiling enough data, they can mimic user behavior and gain network access by changing login credentials.

Keylogging: This requires a bit of malware to capture your keystrokes. Usually a user downloads the malware unintentionally by clicking what appears to be a legitimate upgrade to a well-known application or by downloading an infected file.

Shoulder surfing: As the name implies, this hack involves stealing a person’s credentials by physically watching them. Crowded public areas provide the proximity needed for this hack.

Don’t be a victim of cyberthieves. Ongoing training and reminders can reinforce the need for caution to protect usernames, passwords, and account information.

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Our firm provides the information in this article for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other competent advisors. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional advisor who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this blog are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

 

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