Simple pieces of information like your email address and date of birth can be a gateway for hackers to get into your online accounts. Accounts can get compromised easily when not being kept properly. When an account gets hacked, it puts your devices at risk of getting viruses and malware that may lead to not to identity theft, scams and various types of fraud.
For your peace of mind, follow these 6 steps to keep your accounts safe:
- Use a Strong and Unique Password
The oldest trick in the book. Ideally, a strong and unique password means 12 characters with a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. With different online services requiring a user to change passwords after a given period, a password manager with one master password would come in handy.
We also recommend that you have a password diary that you carry everywhere. It may sound primitive but hard copies are always stronger than the soft copies.
- Strengthen Your Verification Process
Having a strong authentication means your account gets another layer of protection. Now widely used by social media platforms and email services, this feature is also called login approval, two-factor authentication, or 2-step verification, this added security feature could either be via Security Keys (USB type), Biometrics, or One-time codes.
- Update Software Regularly
Some may find this to be time-consuming but updating your software regularly as it becomes available could save you from different kinds of malware. Whether it be through password or keystroke capture, ransomware, of distributed denial of service, a Malware virus could post serious damage, especially when shared to other users.
- Explore Your Mobile Security Feature
Your mobile devices can now be your mobile wallet, with apps developed by your preferred bank, you can now process mobile banking anytime and anywhere. The danger here lies when your mobile phone or tablet get lost or worst, stolen, it is highly possible that a lot of sensitive information could be exploited. Luckily, more mobile companies today are making security features a priority by introducing various ways on how to log in to a device. Offerings today include remotely locating a lost device or remotely wiping data altogether. Login features now also include face detection, fingerprint scan, and touch ID.
- Be Vigilant of Phishing attacks
Phishing (emails impersonating a legit website) attempts could come in the subtlest of forms, with the sender usually trying to appear as legitimate as possible. Usually sent with a sense of urgency, Phishing emails asks the receiver to click on a link or an attachment or log in to a phishing website which could steal login credentials when entered. When in doubt, it is always recommended to think twice before clicking and make sure the URL of the site you are being directed to is legitimate. If further suspicions arise, it is better to report or simply delete.
We are all vulnerable to attacks online. Whilst you may think that a simple search and sign up to websites can be harmless, it is best to always be vigilant and knowing. Get your basic know how today. TeckDM founder, Esther Anderson provides Cyber-Safety Awareness Workshops in Perth this whole month of February in celebration of the Safer Internet Day 2019. Check out TeckDM’s facebook page for more information.