When you bought your phone, you may have noticed an app called Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay. These apps are designed to help you pay for things in the real world securely. Instead of directly communicating with a payment company using your credit card, the app uses a secret code which is shared with the payment company. Since the credit card information is never actually present in the transaction, nobody can skim the information or steal your information.
One of the greatest scams for hackers is also one of the best illustrations of how NOT to handle your emails. In many cases, a hacker may act as the CEO of a company and ask different departments for sensitive information (tax forms.) A company is breached not as a result of a diligent, intelligent hacker, but because of the employees not understanding how to handle sensitive information. If you believe this is too far-fetched to be real, here is the IRS specifically warning against these attacks. To defend yourself against these, just check with the actual person before you send sensitive information. If someone asks you to send them sensitive information, make 100% sure it is actually them.
Sensitive information is important in many of our daily lives. Information such as social security numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, and other passcodes and pin numbers are what’s called sensitive information. If you must send sensitive information, here is my advice:
Use multiple methods. Send part of it via text and part via email. Split it up
Call someone and tell them it. It is harder for someone to retrieve the audio from a phone call than it is for them to read your texts or emails
How many accounts do you have?
Have you ever sat down and thought about how many accounts you own? Perhaps it is time to do some spring cleaning of your accounts. I recommend reading this article about password managers prior to this article as it covers the basics of password managers.
What to do!
Write down every website you think you have an account to. Write down literally everything, including applications.
Setup your password manager and prepare to fill it up
Visit each site on your list and login to it. If your password manager does not prompt you to add that website’s login to your password manager, do it manually. There is usually an add button in the password manager’s widget in the top right corner. (tutorial)
If you do not remember your password for a website, use the website’s “Forgot my password” button and reset the password using a generated password from your Password Manager (tutorial)
If you no longer need the account, get rid of it. Most websites have a way of deleting your account. If it does not you can most likely email their support email address and ask for your account to be removed.