Most users have no idea that their accounts are being compromised

One great feature of Google Chrome is that it has the ability to highlight any known breached passwords that are stored in the browser. The aim of the feature is to improve cyber security awareness and solutions should one of your passwords become compromised by a cyber criminal.

Concerns have been raised around the fact that most people have no idea that their accounts and passwords have become compromised. The main issue at hand is that there is a lack of awareness surrounding IT security and knowledge of how to protect yourself online. Although saving passwords onto your browsers is a quick and efficient solution, it does open the door to possible security problems in the future. Therefore, we would recommend avoiding saving, storing or writing down your passwords and ensuring that you always set up another form of authentication on your personal accounts.

Awareness around IT security

One research study worryingly found that of the few hundred volunteers that they had recruited and then shown three different data breaches. 74% of the volunteers were not aware that those breaches contained their personal details (1).

Further analysis also found that those volunteers were more likely to blame themselves for the data breach rather than the platform which contained their personal information. Some of them thought it may be because they used the same password across different websites, others blamed websites that they signed themselves up on. Only 14% of the volunteers thought that the data breach may be related to other factors besides themselves (1).

What’s more worrying is that the blame is being pointed at everything but the platforms that are being used. There are best practices when it comes to cyber security and staying safe online, but the user isn’t always at fault when data becomes compromised. It is important to remember that these platform owners hold the bulk of the responsibility to ensure that their users and their data is secure when in use.

Levels of concern

Researchers have also discovered that the most common type of information obtained by hackers is the users’ email addresses and passwords. The majority of the victims were relieved and relaxed to hear that their data was compromised. In fact, they were more concerned whether any of their personal details such as their address, and phone number were leaked (1). However, any data that does become compromised no matter how “significant” or not, can lead these cyber criminals to find more private information as per the likes of leaking addresses, bank details and statements. Obtaining your email address and password is the door to finding much more private information. Therefore even a simple password breach is a significant incident that needs to be dealt with quickly.

How can I protect my data on browsers?

One way to inject IT security into your browsers is to use a VPN. Many users assume that using a private or incognito tab provides a level of privacy, it is a false assumption. The aim of private browsers is to prevent the browser from storing data such as cookies, history, and passwords but it doesn’t mean that you are invisible (2).

Personal information such as your IP address and location is still exposed to the website world. Therefore there is a possibility of easily being able to track and identify your device.

A VPN will encrypt your real IP address and location, replacing it with a different one anywhere in the world. It also will put a stop to browsers from being able to view what you are doing.

We would recommend using one of the top three VPN service providers: ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Surfshark.


 

If you have any concerns surrounding your IT security practices and looking for some guidance and solutions about how to keep your data safe, speak with our IT specialists by calling 0121 289 4477.

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