2023 had no shortage of cybersecurity scares and hacking nightmares.
2024 has already started off with cybersecurity horror stories making big headlines (cyber kidnapping being one of them). To start the year off on the right foot, we asked cybersecurity and online privacy experts across the Southeast about the trends they are seeing…and what tips they have to stay safe online this year. From how to read messages to how to update your passwords, here is what the experts said:
Get The Message
Zach Eikenberry, CEO of Hook Security, said individualized scams – like romance and IRS scams aimed at those age 65 plus – are continuing to rise. At the same time corporations are dealing with the rise of large-scale phishing attacks that stem from targeted emails and fraudulent domains.
We asked Eikenberry what advice he has for people looking to stay safe online this year. His big takeaway: Stay vigilant around your messages.
“Emails are still the primary way cybercriminals are targeting you. And on the personal front, scammers will be targeting your text messages. It’s best to simply ignore texts, especially urgent ones, from any unknown numbers. Do not respond or share any information via text with anyone; it’s more than likely a scam.”
Reimagine Your Passwords
Jodi, Founder & Privacy Consultant at Red Clover Advisors, said that people should be embracing 2FA/multi-factor authentication wherever they can.
“The best form of 2FA is to use a token via an app like Authy or Google Authenticator over a text based code,” she added.
Justin, Technology Transaction Attorney & Shareholder at Baker Donelson, said his advice is to rethink how you store passwords.
“I recommend everyone have a secret word that they add to passwords for important websites like a bank. Do not store the secret password in a password manager. That way if there is a hack your entire password is not revealed,” he added.
Keep Up The Training
Eyal Benishti, CEO at Atlanta-based email security platform IRONSCALES, has seen first-hand how online phishing schemes have become more sophisticated over the years. He said the rise of artificial intelligence is only making phishing more prevalent, particularly within companies.
“Generative AI has forever changed the face of phishing — enabling bad actors to generate infinitely more sophisticated, convincing phishing emails at unprecedented speed and scale. In fact, we saw a 24% increase in these advanced email attacks over just the first two quarters of 2023 alone,” Benishti told Hypepotamus.
“That’s why, as we head into 2024, it’s imperative that every enterprise email user take part in regular security awareness training; including frequent phishing simulations that are up-to-date and reflective of the current, real world threat landscape.”