Online Account Security in Three Simple Steps
Online account security is a common and growing problem in today’s digital age – the infamous ‘Celebgate’, the Sony Email Hack and recently US Intelligence Director, James Clapper. Hackers are on the prowl, looking for vulnerable accounts to exploit – and it is easier for them to compromise your accounts than you may want to believe. Your email inbox, bank accounts, credit cards, social media sites, and the ‘cloud’ where you backup your personal photos, videos and documents; these are all prime targets for a hacker and they could potentially gain access faster than you can imagine. Go ahead and see for yourself. Enter your most ‘secure’ password here and you might be amazed at how quickly you could become a victim. So the question to ask is ‘How can the average internet user protect their data?’ Thankfully, the answer is quite simple. By following these 3 simple steps you will be well on your way to protecting your digital livelihood:
#1 – The Password ‘Rule of Thumb’
Always use a strong password. Always use a unique password. This is paramount in securing your online accounts. A password is the digital ‘key’ to your data ‘home.’ It should not be easy to crack and it should not be used for multiple ‘houses.’
#2 – Create and Manage Passwords the Easy and Free Way
So now you are probably asking, ‘How can I possibly create and remember so many strong, unique passwords!?’ Before you give up, know that the answer is surprisingly simple and free! Password managers, or password vaults, are a simple and effective way to create and manage strong passwords across your various online accounts. They will automatically fill-in your account credentials when you visit your favorite websites, providing a seamless login experience, and most come with additional useful features such as the ability to easily share login information with family members, friends, or coworkers. But the best feature of all is no longer having to remember all those passwords! That’s right – one password to rule them all. Enter a single password to unlock your vault and instantly access the many, now strong and unique (see step #1 above) passwords you have saved for your various online accounts. Just be sure to follow step #3 below to ensure your vault remains secure, too!
#3 – Enable Two-Factor Authentication
It may sound complicated, but it is really quite simple. Two-factor authentication (2FA or 2-Step Verification) is a multi-factor authentication method that requires a second component (i.e. one-time passcode) be used in addition to the first component (i.e. your account password) in order to be able to access an account. As online account security becomes more and more important to users, 2FA will continue to be supported by more and more online services as a way to provide their customers and users with a way to proactively secure their data. A common two-factor authentication method is through the use of your smartphone device. By downloading a free 2FA app, your smartphone becomes the second ‘key’ required to access your information. Each time you log in to your sensitive accounts, you can require a second component be used in addition to your already strong password. A one-time passcode is displayed in your chosen 2FA app on your smartphone, and when entered you will be successfully logged in to your account. This is, pound-for-pound, the simplest and most effective way to enhance your online account security and will make it a nightmare for any hacker attempting to break into your ‘home’.
If you are looking for business security features such as federated identity and password management, multi-factor password protection, session tracking, or auditing and compliance, please contact us for a free initial consultation. We will work with you to build a solution molded to your unique needs.