San Jose, CA (PRWEB) October 13, 2015
ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company™, has outlined recommended best practices for secure usage of mobile devices and social media in a continued commitment to this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) theme, “Our Shared Responsibility,” as well as the third week’s theme, “Connected Communities: Staying Protected While Always Connected.”
The theme of NCSAM’s third week emphasizes the importance of staying protected when using the Internet, and encourages businesses and consumers to become better digital citizens in their communities. As consumers find themselves constantly connected, the risk of theft, fraud and abuse increases.
“As a society, we are much more connected than we were years ago,” said Andreas Baumhof, chief technology officer at ThreatMetrix. “We have multiple devices, numerous social media accounts and a desire to always stay plugged in even if we’re on the go. The shift to mobile combined with an increase in social media-specific malware and cyberattacks targeting social networks heightens the need for guarding our digital identities and online communities in this age of constant connection. Ultimately, all fraudsters need is a username and password to begin conducting a variety of cybercrimes, such as phishing attacks, and to start piecing together a digital identity.”
ThreatMetrix has outlined several best practices to address the risks associated with increased connectivity:
- Adapt to the increase in mobile usage – According to the “ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report: Q2 2015,” 31 percent of the 3 billion transactions analyzed in Q2 occurred on mobile devices, a 10 percent increase compared to Q1 2015. Additionally, ThreatMetrix has experienced a 50 percent increase year over year in mobile volume. Websites – especially those in possession of payment credentials, such as retailers and financial institutions – must have cyber security strategies in place to deal with the move to mobile from a broad and protected point of view. Businesses should also focus on leveraging solutions such as cross-device intelligence and mobile application security in order to effectively protect consumers’ digital identities on all devices.
- Beware of fraudsters targeting social networking sites – Social media is largely based on the “friend” system, which creates a mutual circle of personal and/or professional trust among users. Messages and requests sent or received within this circle tend to be regarded as legitimate and don’t receive the same level of scrutiny as messages that are clearly labeled as spam. Take LinkedIn, for example. The platform has earned a high level of trust, leading users to let their guard down when accepting new connections. The most recent example of this is a LinkedIn-based intelligence gathering campaign in which fake job recruiters have attempted to befriend security experts on the site. Once these fraudsters find a way to connect via LinkedIn, they get access to more personally identifiable information, putting companies and individuals at risk.
- Protect against social media-specific malware – Malware can interfere with social media users’ attempts to stay protected on the Internet, as virtually all malware targeting social media users is configured to reveal social networking credentials. Once those credentials are revealed, fraudsters and scammers can target on-demand streaming providers, social networks, forums and digital content websites. Additionally, these credentials build upon a consumer’s larger digital identity putting the consumer more at risk. Media companies need to preserve user trust by implementing solutions that prevent identity theft, account takeover and other social networking fraud.
- Minimize risk on public Wi-Fi – While public Wi-Fi is extremely convenient, it’s inherently insecure. To minimize the risk associated with public wireless access points, verify the correct network prior to logging in by checking with signage or employees at the location. Use a VPN and ensure cyber security software on all devices is up to date to protect personal data.
“Accepting unknown LinkedIn requests and logging into free public Wi-Fi networks may seem like innocent actions, but they’re actually unsafe behaviors that can put personal information and data at risk,” said Baumhof. “Consumers and businesses need to be aware of these threats and implement the recommended best practices into their use of mobile devices and social media in order to effectively protect their digital identities.”
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an initiative led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security. NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security and increasing the resiliency of the U.S. in the event of a cyber incident. ThreatMetrix has signed on as an official NCSAM “Champion” and joins a group of organizations dedicated to promoting a safer, more secure and more trusted Internet.
In addition to the overall theme of “cyber security is a shared responsibility,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has outlined weekly themes to commemorate National Cyber Security Awareness Month throughout October. The remaining upcoming themes include:
- Week Four – Your Evolving Digital Life
- Week Five – Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals
For more information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the NCSAM Champions program, and how to participate in NCSAM activities, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam. You can also follow and use the hashtag #CyberAware on Twitter throughout the month.
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ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company™, is the market-leading cloud solution for authenticating digital personas and transactions on the Internet. Verifying more than 15 billion annual transactions supporting 15,000 websites and 4,000 customers globally through the ThreatMetrix® Digital Identity Network, ThreatMetrix secures businesses and end users against account takeover, payment fraud and fraudulent account registrations resulting from malware and data breaches. Key benefits include an improved customer experience, reduced friction, revenue gain, and lower fraud and operational costs. The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, e-commerce, payments and lending, media, government, and insurance.
For more information, visit http://www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.
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