Recent headlines about major security breaches at Target and Yahoo! Mail highlight the risk of having your personal data online. These events are a reminder of how critical it is to take steps to protect your digital identity. According to a recent study from Microsoft, the average person has 25 online accounts and 66% of consumers use the same one or two passwords for all of their log-ins. It only takes one account to get hijacked for a hacker to access all of your personal and financial information.
Here are five ways to reduce your risk:
1. Use an online password generator for maximum security - The best passwords consist of random numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special symbols. Use any of these five options to find an auto-generated password for each of your online accounts.
2. Bolster your answers to security questions - Traditional security questions are often easy to crack, but you can personalize your answers by adding extra characters to the end of your response. Make it something very specific that only you would know.
3. Browse in “Incognito’ (Google Chrome) or Private (Mozilla Firefox) modes. This way, if your computer, tablet, or mobile device is stolen you can ensure that your web history and passwords aren’t saved for someone else. This will also disable the browser’s keychain functionality that saves passwords and login credentials.
4. Check https security on any website where you are entering personal information - The ’s’ after the ‘http’ means that that site is verified and secure.
5. Set automatic updates for your operating system to ensure that you always have the latest security patches.
Additionally, using a product like Bitium reduces the risk that your passwords and confidential data will fall into the wrong hands. Bitium is a single sign-on solution that allows users to input passwords for all of your web apps one time without having to enter it again. This gives you the ability to create a different, secure password for each of your apps without having to remember them because Bitium takes care of logging you in. If you ever need to see your passwords, Bitium has a secure process that allows you to view app passwords, if you need to. Also, check out our Top 10 List for making passwords rediculously hard to hack.
Don’t let cyber-criminals destroy your identity or hack into your applications. These simple steps will help keep your information safe. See the article here from Entrepreneur that talks about protecting small businesses from cyber-attacks.