Summer lull…the time to sit back and relax while enjoying your vacation. But don’t make the mistake of being lulled into a false sense of security and let your guard down.
One of my clients recently had his identity stolen while on vacation. He is not sure where the hacker got his information, but he could have been hacked while using his laptop without a VPN at a hotel. He also used his credit card to pay for gas and to pay his tab at a local restaurant.
Using a laptop without a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is very risky. The hotels allow access to their WiFi, but they can’t guarantee your security when doing so. Often the WiFI is completely open and you can find multiple computers on the same network.
Paying for gas at the pump is convenient and quick, but your identity can be stolen by skimmers placed over the card insert. They can be difficult to detect, especially if you’re not thinking about them.
At the restaurant, the server often takes the card back to swipe it at the terminal. They can take a quick picture with their phone and you’d never know.
All of these situations are ripe for identity theft.
The weird thing is, he contacted his credit card company and within 24 hours of getting the new card, it was hacked again.
The federal government has some good information on what you can do. https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft
I believe his identity was stolen somehow other than his computer. There are many third party sites you have no control over that handle data for legitimate companies that lack the security needed to protect your identity.
Here are a few proactive things you can do…
- Install a proactive solution such as Huntress. It can isolate and threats prior to damage being done, protecting your computers and network.
- Webroot endpoint protection is a corporation level reactive product similar to McAfee and Norton but without the nagging popups. If it cannot automatically delete the problem, a motification goes to us so we can address it. The end user (you) do not have to worry about it.
- Webroot DNS protection that protects you from going to compromised websites. It works as an addition to the regular Webroot.
Again, I think it’s only a small chance his computers were compromised, but if they were, Huntress and Webroot can route the hackers out.
If you’re interested in learning more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 615-443-4842.
All the best,