Cybersecurity Tips

Easy and effective tips against cyber crime

 

New Tip #8: Aoid Public Wifi Pitfalls New

Tip #7: Locate My Phone Apps

Tip #6: Antivirus

Tip #5: Update or Uninstall Software

Tip #4: 2-Step Verification

Tip #3: Secret Email

Tip #2: Password Manager

Tip #1: Strong Passwords

 

Tip #8: Avoid Public Wifi Pitfalls

Why?

A hacker can use a public Wifi network to spy on its users, e.g. secretly recording information that you access on your computer, phone, or tablet.

How?

Step 1. One option is to avoid logging into your accounts while on a public Wifi network, which includes Wifi at airports, hotels, coffee shops, etc.  Beware, as some sophisticated hackers can use a public Wifi network to gain access to your stored files, not just your internet data.

Step 2. Another option is to download and subscribe to a VPN, Virtual Private Network.  Be sure to use VPN services on your phones and tablets as well.  We not endorse any one in particular.  Some popular VPNs include: NordVPN, Private Internet Access, Spotflux Premium, HotSpot Shield Elite, CyberGhost.

Step 3: Yet another option is to avoid public Wifi altogether by getting a hotspot hosting service, which provides a private internet network.  Be sure to use a strong password for your hotspot network.  Available through wireless service providers like Verizon.

 

Tip #7: Locate My Phone Apps

Why?

Protect sensitive personal data stored on your phone.  Locate My Phone apps will remotely lock your phone and, if your phone cannot be recovered, erase your data.

How?

Step 1. Set up a passcode/fingerprint lock for your phone.

Step 2. Link your phone to your iCloud or your Google account.

Apple: Settings, then iCloud, then Find My iPhone.  On the next screen, turn on Find My iPhone and turn on Send Last Location.

Android: Settings, then Security, then Android Device Manager.  Turn on Remotely Locate This Device and turn on Allow Remote Lock and Factory Reset.

Step 3: Enable location tracking on your phone.

Apple: Settings, then Privacy, then Location Services, turn on Find My iPhone.

Android: Settings, tap Location.

Step 4: If your phone is missing, log into iCloud or your Google account from any computer, where you can remotely lock your phone, track its location, and erase data.

 

Tip #6: Antivirus

Why?

Without antivirus, your computer, phone, and your personal data stored on those devices, are vulnerable to attacks.

How?

Step 1. Download and subscribe to a well-reviewed antivirus service for all your devices (except for iPhones - which rely on iOS updates for antivirus).  We do not endorse any particular antivirus. Some popular antivirus software include: AVG AntiVirus, Avast Free Antivirus, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, McAfee, Panda Free Antivirus, Symantec Norton Security, Webroot SecureAnywhere

Step 2. Consider getting Malwarebytes, a free malware removal program, to complement your antivirus.  Malware refers to a variety of intrusive software (spyware, trojan horse, etc), and most malware can be more effectively removed by using Malwarebytes, rather than an antivirus on its own.  Download available at malwarebytes.com

Step 3: Keep track of your antivirus and malware removal programs and their subscription expiration dates.

 

Tip #5: Update or Uninstall Software

Why?

Over time, hackers exploit known security vulnerabilities in software programs and apps.

How?

Step 1. When your phone, tablet, or computer notifies you that updates are available, either for the operating system, or programs or apps, install the updates.

Step 2. When you are in the app store or in google play, check for updates of your apps.

Step 3: Special attention items: Java, Flash Player, QuickTime on Microsoft Windows are targets of hackers.  Consider uninstalling these programs if you do not use them.

 

Tip #4: 2-Step Verification

Why?

Authenticates your account everytime a new computer tries to log into your account, or whenever a password reset is requested.  A temporary security code, sent automatically to your cell phone, will be required to complete the login or password reset. 

How?

Step 1. Log into your emails (personal and secret) and your financial accounts.

Step 2. Change your security settings to enable 2-step verification (where available, not all sites offer it).

Step 3: Enter your cell phone number to receive text messages for temporary security codes.

 

Tip #3: Secret Email Only for Financial Accounts

Why?

It provides an extra layer of protection from hackers.

e.g. Your bank alerts you at your secret email that you requested a password reset.  The hacker's scheme is exposed because he/she doesn't know about your secret email.

How?

Step 1. Pick one of the major email providers, like Gmail, Outlook, iCloud.

Step 2. Choose an email address with no personal information.

e.g. ImBatman@gmail.com or Ihatemykids@gmail.com

Step 3. Use your strong password made in Tip #1.

Step 4. Log into your financial accounts, and change your email address to your new secret email.

 

Why?

1. It saves you time and brain power.  A password manager will save all your passwords, so you don't have to remember them!

2. It protects your passwords.  A password manager records all your passwords with encryption.

How?

Step 1. Purchase a password manager.  We do not endorse any one in particular.  Here are some popular password managers for you to consider: 

Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, iCloud Keychain, Keeper Security

Step 2. Set up your password manager.  Be sure to use a strong master password (see Tip #1) for the password manager.  You have to remember one password, the master password.

 

Tip #1: Strong Passwords

Why?

Make it difficult for hackers to guess your password, by using random phrases.

How?

Step 1. Think of a phrase, or a line from a poem, or a line of lyrics.

e.g. buy three piggy banks all on sale

Step 2. Use the phrase, or make it into a mnemoic.

e.g. buythreepiggybanksallonsale

e.g. btpbaos

Step 3. Capitals, numbers, special characters.

e.g. buy3PiggyB@nksallonsale

e.g. b3PB@os

How to keep track of your passwords?  Stay tuned!

 

 

Source: "Hack-Proof Your Life Now!", by Sean M. Bailey and Devin Dropp.