There are many lessons I try to impart to my friends, family and co-workers about the safety of mobile devices. I think most of it goes in one ear and out the other, and it all sounds like geek speak to most of them. As the world becomes more mobile, and we do more and more online, securing all of your accounts and devices has never been more important. Today I am going to share a few articles about how to keep your home computer, your mobile devices, and your online accounts safe from the prying eyes of the internet.
The first and probably most important lesson I can pass on to you is about security, Always use Anti Virus and Anti-Malware programs on any device you use to connect to the internet! In conjunction with those to protect your device, Always User Two factor authentication anywhere it is available to help secure your online accounts.
The following two articles from Lifehacker explain what two factor authentication is, and how to use it on many of the most popular sites such as Facebook, twitter and even Gmail. Save yourself the headache of being Hacked! It can happen to anyone, even I have even had my Facebook account hacked once, and anyone who knows me can tell you, I am big on security and long mixed symbol passwords.
The first article called “Please turn on two factor authentication” is a quick explanation and plea to use two factor authentication.
This second article explains how and where to turn on two factor authentication in Gmail and on numerous other popular sites.
Not mentioned here, but if your bank, and credit card companies offer such a service, and I am sure most do, implement them on those sites to prevent unauthorized logins!
The second area I need to cover, and also touched upon in the above articles is back-up your data! I cannot stress this enough, if your drive fails and you have no back-up you will be screwed and lose everything. This is the second most important lesson I can pass on to you. I too have once been the victim of not backing up my data, and then I lost close to 10,000 pictures. I always back-up now, every night without fail! It’s easy, it’s cheap and it could save your ass!
As you will notice most of these articles are from Lifehacker.com, one of my favorite sites. Below are two links, the first being an article about online backups, comparing the 5 best. Read it, understand it, and decide if it is for you. BTW Dropbox works well to, and is rated as one of the more secure services!
The second is a guide for setting up a home back up plan, and easy steps for doing so. You do not have to use this guide, as there are other options available, but whatever you use, use something and check it occasionally to make sure it actually works!
The last thing I want to share today is about passwords. We all use them, most people hate them and I can crack 80% of them in fewer than 2 minutes. Passwords should not be simple for anyone but you; it should not be a birthday or pet name, or your husband’s name. Those are easily guessed passwords, and what most people use because they are so easy to remember. The problem is; most people use the same password for everything! Don’t! that is the quickest way to give people access to your private data. They get the password for 1 thing and BAM, they have the password for everything, bank accounts, email etc.
Always use different passwords for different things, and use passwords you will remember easily, but someone else will not. Like a combination of letters and numbers like; B1i9l6l7y, looks complicated but it really isn’t. I took the name Billy, and the year he was born, 1967, and merged them into one word. So I now use 3 different character sets in my password making it harder to crack, or guess!
I hope you take what you have learned here today and use it, because I do want to be the guy you call when your accounts get hacked, or your computer takes a dump and all your pictures of fluffy and flowers, and all the music that was “in your ITunes” is gone. I do not want to be the guy saying to you “do you have a back-up?”