Most of us conduct a lot of our personal business online these days, so the necessity of being savvy when it comes to security has never been greater. Hackers are becoming much better at scouring our online lives – including social media networks – to get the information they need to compromise our security.
Here are some steps we should all take to secure our information online:
Create strong passwords. Yes, it’s a major pain to create different passwords for each of our online accounts, but it is one of the most effective ways to stop hackers in their tracks. Experts say passwords should be at least 10 characters long and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and characters. Never use your name or initials in your password.
Security question switch-up. Many sites now require you to answer security questions, like where you were born. Instead of answering correctly, choose a place that has meaning to only you that is unrelated to your birthplace.
Choose double-verification. If you have a Google account, you know about double verification: anytime you try to access your account from an unfamiliar computer, Google asks for your password and also sends a one-time password that they generate to your cell phone. Whenever a site you regularly use offers you this option, use it.
Password-protect your Wi-Fi. Never use an unsecured network in your home – hackers can break in, control your computer and even break into your bank account. Create a strong password for your home Wi-Fi network. And if you are using public Wi-Fi, always log out of your accounts when you are finished.
Never click on questionable links. Ever get an email from a friend’s account that you know just doesn’t sound quite right? That friend’s account has been hacked, and their contact list is being used to send spam. If you get an email with just a link from a friend, ignore it. Then let your friend know he or she has been hacked.
Back up your data. Get an external hard drive to back up your data or store your files in the cloud via applications like Dropbox or Apple iCloud.
If you’d like to learn more about protecting all your assets, including digital assets, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.