2019 Security Check
In January of every year I write an article to help you think about your Home, Electronic and Personal Security. This year I am going to devote most of this article explaining how to protect yourself after the data breaches of 2018.
2018 was a bad year for our personal information being stolen due to computer hacks and breaches at many large companies. So, through no fault of your own your name, email address and passwords were stolen. In some cases, other personal information such as your address, phone number and even medical information was exposed. This year I think that it is very important that you spend some time on your electronic security. So, what can you do to protect yourself and your on-line data?
To start with every on-line account should have a separate and unique password. It should be at least 12 characters long with upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols. Do not make it a dictionary word. You are probably going to say how do I keep track of all these new passwords? The answer is a good password manager, there are many. I use DashLane find one you like, and it will make your life much easier. They work across all platforms and devices such as your smartphone, tablet and desktop.
Two factor authentication:
This is where after you enter your unique password, the site will send a code to your smartphone via text or email. You will then enter that code into the site for access. This code only is active for a short period of time. You should use this on all financial site at the very minimum. If you use Facebook or Instagram a lot take a good look at the information that you have posted about yourself. Try looking at that information like a bad guy would, you might be surprised what you find.
This year I spent a lot of space telling you how to protect yourself after the data breaches of 2018. Before I finish this article, I want to make sure that you all travel safe, especially if you go out of the United States. Always leave your itinerary with someone back home, along with copies of your passport and drivers license. Buy travel insurance that can help pay for any medical emergencies or emergency transport back home. And finally, be aware of where you are, if your gut tells you no don’t go.