Hackers on the loose. How we should react to the latest digital security breaches?

Published in El Pais, 20 April 2018.

As technology grows we are relying on it more to change our daily lives, using apps to track our nutritional intake, our physical activity, organize our appointments and to set daily reminders. One of the more popular applications used for physical fitness is the Under-Armour App, My fitness Pal. Through this app we can track our caloric intake and burn age by inputting our food consumption and physical activity. Unfortunately, they can now add one thing they have in common with many companies such as Hudson’s Bay, Saks and Chipotle. All have been victims of to the Fin7 hacking group. So far only emails and passwords have been stolen from users and not payment information, but the data breach is one of the many reminders of how vulnerable our information is when given out to companies, even when they do not have any malicious intent.

Fin7 is considered largely Russian though not affiliated with any country and considered more of a criminal business than a loosely affiliated hacker. They are so large that an arrest of one of the groups leaders in Spain is not thought to have much of an impact on its hacking activities moving forward. Some of the attempts to steal credit card information are not even hacks, they are simply elaborate phishing schemes which hope to dupe users into giving up their information.

This can all be overwhelming to the average user and understandably is having some of them on edge. As someone who has worked in banking fraud I have seen my fair share of unknowing victims. We do not have to get off the grid to be safe there are some things you can do to limit your information from being stolen such as only give out your payment information to companies that have high security, ignore all emails that request password information and if you do hear of a company that has your information being compromised, change your password right away and if need be cancel and renew your credit card.

These new applications and rewards programs can be highly beneficial to the user and many people (myself included) will not and should not stop using them just because of the increasing number of successful hacks. If we are all diligent about who has our information and react swiftly when we feel our information may be compromised, then we can severely limit the damage this sophisticated group seeks to acomplish

About Matthew Glezos 230 Articles
Matthew is Canadian and has a Master in Business Administration. He has international experience in marketing and strategy. He has a strong interest in technology and combines it with the business side.

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