TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Crooks can walk away with hundreds even thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money all with a few keystrokes.
Hackers are using the digital world to steal from people in our community. They could be targeting your bank account your credit and even your identity.
Megan Asmus remembers getting the first one in October.
“I got an email from best buy thanking me for my order and i had not placed an order," said Asmus.
It was for an I-Phone she hadn't ordered, it happened again in November and December. Asmus becoming a victim of hackers.
She's not alone, the Michigan based Poneman Institute says in 2014 nearly half of the adults in the USA were hacked.
“They're at least two steps ahead of us," Jason Slagle with CNWR IT consultants.
Sobering news from Slagle who says hackers cast a wide net.
“They're not particularly looking for your kohl's account. They usually happen to get into your email," said Slagle. “They see you get your kohl's bill in your email. So now because of that they can recover your Kohl's account, they can get access to your charge account, they can start charging."
So to keep hackers away, protect your email. If hackers get in, that's a roadmap to what kind of accounts you have. Especially if you've ever requested one of those password resets.
It's time to rethink your passwords, both the amount and the format.
"These days pretty much everything we were taught correctly about passwords is wrong. They told you you needed an 8 character password. It's got to have an upper and a lower, number and a symbol. The problem is an 8 character password these days can be cracked in a matter of a day," said Slagle.
So try a sentence as your password, something you'll remember and throw in a capital letter and some punctuation.
Also check out something called a password manager. it stores passwords, and when activated unlocks all of your online accounts.
If a site allows you, sign up for two factor authentication. You first enter a password, then a code sent to your cell phone. It's something you know, something you have.
Unfortunately if a hacker is out to get you they're going to get you. But if you're taking some precautions, you're far less likely to be hacked.
"We all have locks on our doors at home. The locks don't stop the bad people. The locks stop the people looking for a total crime of opportunity. By doing those thing you can virtually lock your door at home," said Slagle.
If you shop online, only shop with a credit card, not a debit card. If someone empties your checking account, it can be very hard to get that money back, let along getting it quickly. If someone gets your credit card information, you can fight those charges when you report them as fraud. It's much easier to have that taken off your account.