Learn other ways to make your cyber presence safer.
While there are no guarantees that malicious actors won’t get to your information, these tips will decrease the probability of getting your personal information.
- Have Complicated, Unique, Difficult-To-Crack Passwords.
- Never Reuse a Password
Don’t use the same password on multiple accounts. Make each password unique, with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters.
- Update Your Passwords Regularly
Change your passwords periodically (at least every 6-12 months). While having a really difficult password is the number one way to protect your accounts.
- Prevent “Dictionary Attacks”
Don’t use dictionary words, your pet’s name, your college or any other words that have an obvious correlation to you as a person. Discourage also publishing your birthday on social media sites as this date is a crucial detail to cracking and taking over your (online) identity.
- Tighten Your Security and Privacy Settings
Facebook, and other social media channels occasionally change their privacy options. Visit your social media and review your privacy and notification settings. Disconnect access for apps you no longer use.
- Enable Two-Factor-Authentication
Something often dismissed as too complicated is two-step-verification. Most social platforms, banks and other accounts let you enable it. Here is how it works:
- In addition to your password, every time you sign in, you get a text message or app notification with a code that you need to enter before you get access to your account.
- You’ll be asked to specify your trusted device(s) to receive the code, e.g. your iPhone or iPad, so only you have access.
- Don’t Store Passwords in Your Browser
It seems convenient but hackers feel the same way. Browser attacks are very common.
- Have a Security Program Installed
You need a virus protection program at a minimum. And many now come with privacy packages to help you in case you do get hacked.
- Always Install Updates
Don’t waste time when it comes to installing updates to your applications, if the new release is specifically designed to plug security holes in the software, don’t delay.
- Don’t Simply Click On Any Link
Phishing is generally an attempt to get users to click on a malicious URL that will upload a virus if you do. Never click on a URL sent by your bank, PayPal or other account that requires you to sign in. Often, malicious actors will steal your password that way or upload a virus. Instead, go to the site directly and log in from there to check on a message.