1. Password ManagementTake some time to become acquainted with at least one of the many password managers available. We keep hearing about the perils of weak passwords, as well as the risk of using the same passwords across multiple sites. Are you using the same password for your email, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts? If yes, welcome to the trifecta of identity theft jackpots! The amount of time it takes to learn how to use a password manager is infinitely shorter than the agony of unwinding your life from an identity theft event.
2. Multi-factor AuthenticationWe all carry our phones everywhere. In fact, it was recently reported that more people die taking selfies than from shark attacks (Ouch!). Many sites that offer a second step of logging in do so by either sending a text message to your registered phone, or by generating a code on an “Authenticator” application. Many of the data breaches that occurred in recent memory could have been severely hindered if not outright prevented through the use of a second authentication step in the login process. If your bank has not already imposed it on you, multi-factor authentication is sure to become a mandatory part of your online banking experience.
3. and 4. How do you connect?Do you walk into any public place and connect to any open hotspot without taking some personal precautions? Two simple methods can protect you while you surf: First, take a look around for any shoulder surfers. A good shoulder surfer can snatch your password from across a room. A quick glance of your surroundings can protect you from these prying eyes. Second, before you go to your favorite public hotspot, get a personal VPN client. Even the free offerings will offer more protection than not using one.
5. Remember the basics.Basic internet hygiene includes knowing that Nigerian Princes are not seeking to send you money, no matter how much they invoke God’s good graces on you. Celebrities are not seeking to meet you via the internet, no matter how popular you are. Always perform an image search for any potential suitors, as they may not be who they say they are. Simple steps can make a difference in your overall approach to security. If you practice good security at home, you will find it easy to practice it at work, as well. Perhaps you will find that those folks who stare at the global maps and speedometers aren’t such an anti-social bunch after all!