5 Tips How to Lock Down Your Online Security

by on 08/10/2017 in Security, Security Info & Tips

In a world that’s getting more and more technology-dependent with every passing day, staying safe online became more important than ever. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not taking online security seriously, and the results are visible: not a day goes by without a new hacking or data leak story surfacing. If you don’t want to be part of such unfortunate story, you’re in the right place – we got 5 tips from experts on how to lock down your online security.

1. Use Strong Passwords

A password is always your first line of defense against a potential breach, so make sure it’s a strong defense. According to The Telegraph, a whopping 50% of the accounts that were analyzed by the team behind the Keeper password manager were found to be using highly unsafe passwords, most of them being part of the “top 25 most common passwords”. To get an idea of just how serious this issue is, some of the entries in that top are “123456”, “qwerty”, “111111”, “555555”, “password” and other easy-to-guess passwords. A perpetrator with the right tools can compromise an account that uses such password in a matter of seconds; in fact, even if they go by simply trying to guess the passwords, without the use of any tools, they’re bound to gain access to such poorly-guarded account.

To avoid such scenario, make sure you always use strong passwords for all your online accounts. A password should never contain consecutive key sequences, generic terms or your personal name or details. Consider setting up passwords that contain lowercase letters, uppercase letters and special symbols such as #, $, @, and so on. Also, make sure you don’t re-use passwords. Having a different password for every site may seem like a lot of hassle, but it’s a whole lot less hassle than dealing with a data breach.

2. Use 2-factor Authentication

A strong password is a very good first layer of defense, but you can’t keep all your eggs in one basket, so having multiple layers of security is a good approach. A solid second layer is using 2-factor authentication. In case you’re not familiar with the technology, 2 factor authentication requires a secondary security element to complete the login, besides the password. In most cases, the second element is a one-time code sent via SMS, but 2-factor authentication apps are also available, which can generate unique codes every time you need to login to an account. With 2-factor authentication enabled, even if someone gets a hold of your password, they will not be able to access your account without having a code as well.

3. Use Trusted Devices Only

One of the easiest ways of having an online account breached is logging in from an unknown machine, such as a public library computer. A public device, or any device that is used by multiple people, is more bound to get infected with a malware that can track your activity or log key strokes, and thus get access to your personal data. While having 2-factor authentication enabled will prevent unauthorized access to your accounts even if your password does get leaked by using an untrusted device, it is best to stay on the safe side and avoid using such machines if possible. Even if a stolen password might not work at that very moment, it can still be useful to hackers, as they can cross-check it with all your accounts, or simply sell it, neither of which is a good scenario.

4. Anonymize Your Activity

Another common method used by hackers to breach a victim’s account is tracing their online activity through various means. Luckily, you can easily overcome this by taking some simple steps to mask your online activity. Using simple VPN software (even a free one, such as Tunnel Bear) will allow you to mask your real location in just a few clicks. If you want to take things to a whole new level, consider installing Tor Browser, which is a special browser designed with anonymity in mind. Using a highly complex network of computers to route your Internet traffic through, Tor Browser makes it impossible for anyone to intercept, track or trace your Internet traffic.

5. Never Compromise on Services

A dangerous aspect of online security is that one single weak link is enough to compromise your entire security, and in some cases, that link can come from the most unexpected place. There were numerous cases where individuals took solid security measures to protect themselves, only to opt for one low-quality service and get compromised. A good example of such danger is mixing your work and personal online activities. Say you’re in charge of getting a website done for your business – the process needs to be done by professionals, and secure along the entire way, in order to not act as a security hole. Luckily, there is numerous highly-skilled website design companies in London and around that can get the job done without compromising on your personal or your company’s security. Just make sure you choose wisely.

2 Responses to “5 Tips How to Lock Down Your Online Security”

  1. Sandeep

    Aug 15th, 2017

    Hi,

    Very Informative post and most important all above mentioned Prevention Tips very useful actionable advice to ensure Online Security!