How to Protect Your Online Accounts from Being Breach

The main cause of data breaches globally is compromised login credentials. Hackers are after your account passwords! Learn how you can prevent a breach of one of your accounts.

Stolen  login credentials are a hot commodity on the Dark Web. There’s a price for  every type of account from online banking to social media. For example,  hacked social media accounts will go for between $30 to $80 each.

The rise  in reliance on cloud services has caused a big increase in breached cloud  accounts. Compromised login credentials are now the #1 cause of data breaches  globally, according to IBM Security’s latest Cost  of a Data Breach Report.

Having  either a personal or business cloud account compromised can be very costly.  It can lead to a ransomware infection, compliance breach, identity theft, and  more.

To make  matters more challenging, users are still adopting bad password habits that  make it all too easy for criminals. For example:

·            34% of people admit to sharing passwords with  colleagues

·            44% of people reuse passwords across work and  personal accounts

·            49% of people store passwords in unprotected plain  text documents

Cloud  accounts are more at risk of a breach than ever, but there are several things  you can do to reduce the chance of having your online accounts compromised.


Multi-factor  authentication (MFA) is the best method there is to protect cloud accounts.  While not a failsafe, it is proven to prevent approximately 99.9% of  fraudulent sign-in attempts, according to a study cited by Microsoft.

When you  add the second requirement to a login, which is generally to input a code  that is sent to your phone, you significantly increase account security. In  most cases, a hacker is not going to have access to your phone or another  device that receives the MFA code, thus they won’t be able to get past this  step.

The  brief inconvenience of using that additional step when you log into your  accounts is more than worth it for the bump in security.


One way that criminals get their hands on user  passwords easily is when users store them in unsecured ways. Such as in an  unprotected Word or Excel document or the contact application on their PC or  phone.

Using a password manager provides you with a  convenient place to store all your passwords that is also encrypted and  secured. Plus, you only need to remember one strong master password to access  all the others.

Password managers can also autofill all your  passwords in many different types of browsers, making it a convenient way to  access your passwords securely across devices.


Have you  taken time to look at the security settings in your cloud tools? One of the  common causes of cloud account breaches is misconfiguration. This is when  security settings are not properly set to protect an account.

You  don’t want to just leave SaaS security settings at defaults, as these may not  be protective enough. Review and adjust cloud application security settings  to ensure your account is properly safeguarded.


You can  have impeccable password security on your end, yet still have your passwords  compromised. This can happen when a retailer or cloud service you use has  their master database of usernames and passwords exposed and the data stolen.

When  this happens, those leaked passwords can quickly end up for sale on the Dark  Web without you even knowing it.

Due to  this being such a prevalent problem, browsers like Chrome and Edge have had  leaked password alert capabilities added. Any passwords that you save in the  browser will be monitored, and if found to be leaked, you’ll see an alert  when you use it.

Look for  this in the password area of your browser, as you may have to enable it. This  can help you know as soon as possible about a leaked password, so you can  change it.


Whenever  you’re on public Wi-Fi, you should assume that your traffic is being  monitored. Hackers like to hang out on public hot spots in airports,  restaurants, coffee shops, and other places so they can gather sensitive  data, such as login passwords.

You  should never enter a password, credit card number, or other sensitive  information when you are connected to public Wi-Fi. You should either switch  off Wi-Fi and use your phone’s wireless carrier connection or use a virtual  private network (VPN) app, which encrypts the connection.


If an  attacker manages to breach your device using malware, they can often breach  your accounts without a password needed. Just think about how many apps on  your devices you can open and already be logged in to.

To  prevent an online account breach that happens through one of your devices,  make sure you have strong device security. Best practices include:

·            Antivirus/anti-malware

·            Up-to-date software and OS

·            Phishing protection (like email filtering and DNS  filtering)



Don’t leave your online accounts at risk. We can  help you review your current cloud account security and provide helpful  recommendations.


Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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