The more we rely on our devices, the more vulnerable we become to attacks and fraud. Your smartphone is the primary target. It’s not just passwords and sensitive information that need to be protected.
Think of all the photos and videos you have on your phone that you would be heartbroken to lose. The first task is to set passwords on all devices: laptops, phones, tablets, routers.
Change this for devices that have default passwords enabled (wireless routers, home camera systems like Amazon’s Blink, smart TVs, etc.). Do not reuse passwords. This can be very difficult, but tools like password managers make it much easier.
A password manager allows you to create a “master password” and securely store (and generate) strong, unique passwords for each account. Using separate passwords for each account provides security, but also the convenience of having only one password to remember. A password manager also allows you to securely store all kinds of information, such as insurance numbers, bank account details, and more. Think of it as a digital equivalent of a fireproof box containing all your important documents.
At a minimum, store your bank accounts, credit card accounts, email accounts, and social media in your new password manager. Spend 5 minutes every day adding new accounts to your password manager. It will save you a lot of time and stress over time.
When passwords are compromised in a security breach, hackers often use something called “credential stuffing.” That is, they take that password and enter it into automated tools that they try to use on as many accounts as possible.
If all your accounts use the same password, your account may be compromised or you may have to change all your passwords every time you learn of a new breach. IoT devices are rarely updated and generally lack security minds. This often means that you are plagued with vulnerabilities. Also, if a hacker connects to his Wi-Fi network at home, the hacker can leave an easy route behind.
Multi Factor Authentication
For multi-factor authentication, he needs two things to sign in. Something you know (a password) and something you have (a code from a text message, a code from an app like Google Authenticator, or a hardware key like a YubiKey).
Hardware keys are best, followed by apps, then SMS (better than nothing). If you’re really motivated, do the same for other accounts, but at least for the most important accounts.
More expensive devices are often (but not always) more secure.
End-to-end encryption means that your data is encrypted on your device and no one can read or modify your messages while in transit (not over the internet). service providers (ISPs), hackers, etc.).
Generally, hackers already need access to your device in order for someone to read this type of message. iMessage, WhatsApp, Wickr, and Signal are all free options. Facebook Messenger is secure if you select the “Incognito” option when starting a chat.