Unfortunately it is a common occurrence, hackers who make their way into your digital personal information and steal everything they can. If you and your business are not properly protected it could take a hacker just minutes to access your passwords, credit card information, bank accounts, personal emails, work emails, social media passwords, and even gain access to your cellphone. Computer Security Day recognized on Nov. 30 each year, brings awareness to keeping your online data safe and secure.

There is no failsafe way to keep any of your accounts and information perfectly secure, but according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) there are things Landstar independent agents and owner-operators can and should do to prevent your business or personal information from getting hacked.

  1. Use strong and unique passwords – Using randomly generated combinations of letters, symbols and numbers is the best practice when setting up passwords for any account. No two accounts should have the same password or variations of the same password.
  2. Use a password manager – Using different, strong passwords and changing them often will make it less likely to get hacked, but remembering all of those passwords can be tough. There are various password manager programs and mobile apps available to help keep track of more complex and secure passwords including: TurnKey, Dashlane, IDSheild, LastPass, and Manage Engine.
  3. Install anti-virus software – A reliable anti-virus or anti-malware software can help prevent, detect and remove malicious software from your computer. If you don’t already have anti-virus software, read through this list of the top anti-virus software programs available.
  4. Keep your computer and backup up-to-date Update your computer’s software and operating system regularly – and remember to have a backup of your computer files saved in a different place like on an external hard drive or cloud storage, other than the computer itself.
  5. Make your phone more secure – If you currently lock your phone with a 4-digit numerical code or pattern, make the switch to a more complex passcode. There are also guides provided by available online from the makers of iOS and Android devices to help you switch your existing passcode to a longer, alphanumeric password.
  6. Make your social media accounts private – Social media accounts are one of the main sources of easily accessible personal information and can be easily hacked. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), encourages social media users to do keep their privacy and security settings updated.

If you send emails, post updates on Facebook, check your bank account balance online, or do anything that requires the internet, you’re at risk of being hacked. Remember to always use trusted devices and take the steps to keep yourself and your private information protected.

Turn to these sources for more information on how to keep yourself and your business protected from being hacked:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0104-hacked-email-what-do

https://www.grahamcluley.com/how-protect-equifax-breach