“You’re account has been hacked” – words we wish upon no one. So, in wanting to help protect you and your accounts, we thought we’d share a few, simple tips:
- Use a secure password. This means using a variety of types of characters, such as an uppercase, lowercase, number, special character, and 8 character minimum. Also, let’s all try and avoid using passwords like “Password123” or “Password!”
- Use a unique password. This is just as important as making your password secure. This will help to protect you in the event of one of your logins being compromised, as it won’t affect ALL of your logins. Worried about keeping track of your passwords? Take a moment to look into keychain on the Mac, or one of the many great 3rd party utilities out there such as 1Password, LastPass, etc.
- Turn on 2-factor authentication. If you’re not familiar with 2-factor authentication, you’re not alone. Simply put, it’s an added layer of security for your password. It requires that you use not only a password to login, but a second passcode that may be sent to you via text, push message, or other methods on your mobile device. This helps to ensure that only you have access to your accounts. Many sites support this, but here are just a few: Apple, Google, Dropbox, Evernote, and many more.
- Beware of phishing emails from scammers. Despite the kind words and generous offer of sharing a portion of his newly inherited fortunes, you have not just received an email from foreign royalty. This, my friends, is among the more obvious examples of a phishing email – one being sent by someone requesting just a few small details such as your bank number, social security number, etc. Make sure that if you do receive an email, then you do not respond with any personal information or click on any link to log into the site. Care for an example? Well, if you receive an email from Bank Americorp asking you to login and verify your credentials by going to the “Bank Americorp” site (making up a name here) and logging in , don’t. More often than not, if an email asks you to login it is a “phishing” email.
- Avoid being tricked by social engineering. We could put together some thorough summary of what social engineering is, but the folks over at Webroot have already done just that. So, in giving them full credit for their explanation, here’s a great website that explains a) what social engineering is and b) tips to prevent yourself from being a victim of it.
Now, if you think these tips are guaranteed to protect you and your accounts, they won’t. In fact, short of your living off the grid, there is no sure-fire way of protecting your accounts online. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make life just a bit harder for the hackers of the world.
If you have any questions, or would like to know a bit more on any of the above, shoot us a note and we’d be happy to chat.