When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, most of us opt for the traditional financial, social or physical health-related selections. Weight loss, more time spent with friends and family, or saving for a large purchase are likely on everyone’s list to some extent. It may not be traditional, but it might be time to add digital security to your list this year.
Looking back at 2018, the news was filled with stories of major security breaches and hacker successes. While the headlines that make the evening news revolve around large companies, don’t assume that these risks don’t apply to individuals or small businesses as well. Digital security is a real threat and we all need to take it more seriously in 2019.
Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to up your own security and promote peace of mind for the new year. It’s simply a matter of carving out a little bit of time and deliberately taking some important steps. Let’s talk about a few of the most effective options.
Change your passwords
One of the easiest and most effective steps you can take toward digital security is to change your passwords. Update them frequently and make sure they fall into the “strong” category. This means you may have to deviate from your daughter’s birthday or the name of your favorite pet and start using a more challenging password. Incorporate uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to reduce the likelihood of a security breach.
Use a password monitor
For those who still refuse to change their passwords to a more secure option, it’s a good bet that the reason lies in the fear of not remembering multiple complex passwords and not being able to access devices and accounts. Password monitors, like F-Secure Key from my sponsor F-Secure, take the sting out of these changes by managing your passwords for you, all in one place, and allowing you to login to everything using one master password.
With F-Secure Key, you can even save other important data like pin numbers, credit cards or social security numbers, all of which will be protected through encryption and a high level of security.
Set up two-factor authentication
Another extremely easy step toward increased security is taking a few moments to set up two-factor authorization on your accounts. It has now become available on nearly every type of account and usually requires very little set up.
Two-factor authentication involves an extra step when you log in to your account to ensure that it is really you. This usually comes in the form of a code sent to your phone or email that you are required to enter before proceeding. In most cases, this can be set up in the security or login settings of your account.
Back up data
As security measures increase, hackers are only becoming more sophisticated. Despite your best efforts to remain secure, you’ll still want to be prepared for the possibility of a breach. Should you need to wipe your device and start fresh, say in the case of a ransomware attack, you’ll want to make sure your data has been backed up so you don’t lose everything.
Whether you use an external hard drive, a flash drive, or a cloud service like iCloud or Google Drive, find a way to save your important data somewhere other than on your device.
Don't forget my sponsor IDrive, too. With IDrive, you can back up all your PCs, Macs and mobile devices into ONE account for one low cost! Go to IDrive.com and use promo code Kim to receive an exclusive offer.
Deactivate your Facebook
When we talk about security breaches in the news, Facebook definitely comes to mind. We’ve all heard the stories and, by now, most of us are extremely aware of the sheer amount of information Facebook has on us. As an extra security measure, it may be wise to deactivate your Facebook account.
Deactivating your account will not delete it, but will remove your profile from the popular platform until you choose to reactivate it. Of course, if you don’t find value in Facebook and don’t plan to reactivate it down the road, you can cancel your account for good, permanently deleting your profile altogether.
So why does Kim keep a Facebook page for The Kim Komando Show? Even though Kim closed her personal account, the show Facebook page is a great way to get the real and trusted tech info from Kim, and to update followers on the latest in tech.
Remember, Kim's page is still a trusted place to go.
A secure new year
Losing weight or finally buying that new car may seem more satisfying than tackling preventive digital security measures this year, but one thing is certain. A security breach can have a massive impact on your day-to-day life, bringing your other goals to a screeching halt. Taking the time to apply these methods can bring you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what really matters most to you in 2019.
Set up your financial accounts like you're going to be hacked
One of the most important things we need to protect in this digital day and age is our financial accounts. That means bank accounts, credit accounts, retirement accounts, and more. And with more and more hackers getting at our personal information, it really is time you look at these accounts like it's an inevitability that they get hacked at some point. The good thing is I have put together a list of 5 things you can do right now to protect yourself when that day comes.