I know you have heard it before; this is very important

1st thing – Use a long unique passphrase.  Why, you will remember a passphrase before you will remember an unrelated string of letters and numbers.

2nd Use at least 12 characters – it takes longer for a hacker to break; they want the easy accounts; they are move likely to move on and leave you alone.

3rd Use 2-factore authentication or multifactor authentication. Before you “throw a fit”, you are already doing this with your online banking and online access to your credit cards.  It is worth the couple extra seconds to make sure your accounts are not drained

4th if you are not sure of an email, text, social media message or online advertising – Delete it.

  • Call whom ever sent the email/text to make sure it came from them
  • If you are interested in the advertised item – go to their website through your browser—don’t click on the line

5th Keep your computer clean -This applies to your phones, laptops and tablets.  (Free is not always good)

  • Use ransom ware and malware software
  • Configure the devices to update automatically

6th Back up your devices –If you have a CURRENT and GOOD back up of your information (music, photos other digital work) and you get hit with Ransom ware, you can restore your data and continue with your life

The saying is use the 3-2-1 rule; Keep at least 3 copies of your date; store 2 back up copies on different types of media (cd and thumb drive); have 1 copy off site. You could also use Cloud back up,

7th Every time you apply for a new account (bank/credit card, etc) IMMEDIATELY configure the privacy and security settings for level of information sharing.

Go back and double check the settings –just because you “thought” you changed them, doesn’t mean the change was saved

8th Use caution when sharing information on Social Media – what information does this post share?

  • Are you out of town on vacation?
  • Did you just receive a big screen TV for Christmas – someone may want that TV

9th – Be cautious using Public WIFI Hotspots — OR don’t use them at all

Public hotspots are not secure

Consider using a VPN or personal mobile hotspot

Additional resources: