Yep. Before you say it, I know. Not the most original title. But there isn’t much to work with or pun. Or maybe I am not trying hard enough. Either way lets dive into it.
Online security and privacy are really hot-button topics today. Hackers are on the loose and they are everywhere. So what do we do? Simple. Ish?
From the articles that I read before writing this post, I’m definitely going to be sharing information with you from Mat Honan who wrote the article “THREE ESSENTIAL STEPS TO MAKE YOURSELF MORE HACK-PROOF.”
Step 1: Don’t Reuse Passwords
Ok, I break this rule with all of my accounts. My password is the same for my email, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you get the point. And before you think you know it and start trying to log into my stuff, “HA!,” I have already changed it. I now have a different password for all my accounts thanks to Honan’s advice:
“If you use the same password multiple places, it makes you only as secure as the most vulnerable target. The same thing goes for your clever password schemes, too. If a human being can’t figure out the slight variations you’ve set up to track your Gmail, Facebook, and Wells Fargo passwords, a machine will.”
And it is good advice! And it makes sense. And why I didn’t think of this sooner I have no idea.
Step 2: Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
Now, two-factor authentication is a pain in the butt. There is no argument there. However, you can’t argue with the results. Two-factor authentication is defined as an extra layer of security that is known as “multi-factor authentication” that requires not only a password and username but also something that only you have access to.
Honan states that: “…it just means that when someone tries to log into an account from a new location (a different computer, a different phone, whatever) they also have to enter a code that’s sent to a trusted device. This usually means that you’ll get some sort of text message with a six-digit number you have to enter if you want to, say, log into Facebook from a computer in the library (bad idea!) or reset the password on your Google account.”
I had previously had it only on my business email, but now I am utilizing it on my social media, business email, and Apple account.
Step 3: Use a Password Manager
Now, I have the benefit of Apple products already doing this for me. However, other products have the capabilities of a password manager as well such as Google Chrome. It stores all your passwords to everything, I’ve already set mine up to have the two-step authentication before it can manage anything, but they can be a huge help and save time.
Like anything else though, there are risks but they are minimal compared to the risks of having the same password for everything or not having a second layer of security on your accounts.
As a future communication professional, this definitely has a huge impact on me. 70% of my branding and marketing for my voice over business is reliant on social media and my business email staying safe and secure. Security is definitely number one in our field, especially since it is practically the key to our livelihood.
I think we should definitely change the way we view account security and personal information security. It wasn’t until I reached my early teens that I learned about the severity of identity fraud, credit card fraud, and so on. All of which are locked behind the passwords of our various accounts. Security is vital. End of story.