Internet users need to be more diligent about protecting their online identities and financial information, former FBI agent Tanya DeGenova tells Newsmax TV
Wednesday, appearing on "America’s Forum" to discuss revelations that Russian hackers
have stolen more than a billion names and passwords from 420,000 websites.
"You've got to have a strong, or adequate, I should say, anti-virus system, for example," DeGenova said. "You need to use strong passwords that you need to change regularly. You need to sign out of your account, you should take some precautions, which a lot of people don't know."
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reported that Milwaukee’s Hold Security firm uncovered the Russian hacker theft, which also includes more than 500 million e-mail addresses.
The U.S. government is aware that "state-sponsored bad actors" from other countries are always trying to hack into networks, such as the Pentagon.
"The Chinese, the Russians, and other governments we’re maybe not aware of yet, but they have been trying to break into our financial institutions for the past couple of years," according to DeGenova.
The FBI has been working with the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and academia to devise more stringent security to protect individuals, government agencies and financial institutions.
"In the meantime, unfortunately, it's like patch and pray, so to speak," she said.
She recommended that when shopping online, PayPal "is known to provide more security."
Americans will need to adhere to rigid online security verification if they want cyber theft to diminish, according to DeGenova.
"The American public doesn't want to take the time to go through three sets of validation, for example, authentication," she said. "Everybody wants to do everything fast. They don't care about security ...yet they complain later on if something happens."
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