Even if you hate technology, it’s everywhere and here to stay. In fact, the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to get more prevalent. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep security tips in mind when turning on your mobile device or computer and hopping on the Internet.
Strong passwords are not only highly recommended, but are often mandatory. Typically, they should be eight characters and include a combination of upper and lower case letters, at least one number, and a special character; or several of them.
Avoid using dictionary words or information that is private or easy to guess, such as birthdates of loved ones. Whatever you do, don’t use “football” or “password” as your password. Those are on the list of worst, but most used passwords for 2016. Unfortunately, “password” and variations of “1234567890” are also on that list. There’s a reason. They really are bad and definitely not strong.
In addition, every online account should have a unique username and password combination. Rotate the use of passwords. Change them as often, but at least quarterly.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Take advantage of multi-factor authentication or two-factor authentication. This means you will need to use more than one way to confirm your identity when logging into your account. Often it means receiving an email or text with a code that needs to be entered before the site will allow access.
However, there are other ways this can be done. A newer and increasingly preferred method is to use a security key. It’s an actual piece of hardware, about the size of a house key that you plug into your computer’s USB slot. It prevents unauthorized access to your accounts, because if you don’t have the key, you cannot log in. Google and Dropbox support this technology.
Keep Software Updated
Know what operating system is on your computer. It will typically be some version of Microsoft Windows or Apple iOS. However, there are others, such as Linux. Keep it updated with the latest fixes and version updates so that it continues to be supported by the vendors.
Even if it isn’t reasonable or possible to update the operating system every time a new one is released, ensure that all critical and security updates are applied as soon as they are available. Once the developer no longer supports an operating system or software version, it is time to update. Once they are no longer supported, critical and security patches are no longer released for the version opening you up to far more security risks.
Install some type of anti-malware protection on the computer. There are many choices ranging from basic protection against viruses to more thorough solutions that act as personal firewalls. The price ranges from free to hundreds depending on individual needs.
Visit our security page for more about about backing up critical files, security tools, social media and emails.