How to Better Protect Your Online Identity
Now, more than ever, the protection of your online identity is of utmost importance. Data is power, and leaving yours vulnerable means leaving the rest of your life vulnerable as well. If personal information wasn’t valuable enough, big companies are experiencing breaches of customer data, which could potentially cost them tens of thousands of pounds.
As you probably know, what usually happens during these breaches is that the bad guys get hold of the usernames and the passwords of the website’s customers. While identity theft is not always the result of these breaches, your customers’ information may be sold for other purposes, and that’s never good.
Having your online identity stolen can be disastrous personally, professionally, and financially. The good thing is, it doesn’t have to happen to you, your business, and your customers. Here are some best practices that you can follow, from your trusted business IT solutions provider:
Be Creative with Your Passwords
The first and most crucial step in protecting online identity is by creating a unique and strong password. Hackers don’t manually try to break into accounts and guess the passwords. They have sophisticated programs that allow them to try passwords thousands at a time. Those with weak passwords are vulnerable to this, while those with strong passwords can withstand brute attacks.
When creating a password, try to make it as long as possible and add random digits and symbols. You can even use a sentence or a phrase that delivers length and complexity at the same time.
Don’t Use the Same Password for All Your Accounts
Sure, it’s hard to remember multiple passwords, but you don’t want to take the risk of compromising your other accounts in case one of the sites you’re on gets breached. It’s safer to use a different password for each online account you have.
Answer Security Questions for Stronger Passwords
Most websites include security questions for password recovery. But while the intention for this is good, it could make your account vulnerable as most of the same security questions are used on different websites, and their answers can often be found on social media.
There’s a way to work around this. Instead of supplying the correct answers to those questions like “what’s your mother’s maiden name?”, use another strong password. That way, no one will know the answer to it.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
When you have your devices like your phone tied to your account, that’s another layer of security that makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your data. Even if the bad guys get your password to one of your accounts, they’re still going to need verification from your phone to get in.
Make Use of Password Managers
As mentioned earlier, it’s hard enough to remember a password for one account, let alone multiple passwords! Well, you won’t have to remember them if you have a password manager. As long as you use a trusted service with a clean track record, such as Apple’s iCloud Keychain or Google Passwords, you won’t have to worry about forgetting your passwords again. Those are best for personal accounts, though. For enterprise credentials, you can use ones that have solid encryption standards like Password Hub and RoboForm, among others.
These are some of the simplest ways you can help prevent data breaches and online identity theft. As you can see, these are pretty easy to follow, and there are no complicated methods. All of these steps take just a few minutes to do, and the added security they give is worth it.
Of course, if it’s for your company, you should employ more robust security measures that a reputable business IT support team can provide. You can work with a managed IT services and consulting company that can handle all your tech concerns, including security.
Shaun Prince offers you reliable IT solutions – from security to upgrades and maintenance. Contact us today to know more!