Online security and password protection: hacker proof!
Hackers attack for many reasons; political agenda, they want your domain name, they’re after your cash, they want to damage your company’s reputation. Or they're eager to find out what the FBI’s up to…
Don’t be a target for hackers
You won’t stop hackers. A determined hacker will always break the code. If the FBI can’t stop them, there’s little chance that we can. But you can make yourself less of a target.
There are precautions you can take, unless you don’t mind those embarrassing photos all over the Internet. Yes, you can delete them but you and I both know, the Internet never forgets, ever!
Creating a better p@$sW0rD
A good hacker will guess your password and the answer to your security question. Actually, they don’t guess, they look at the clues you’ve left lying around. Your Facebook page is a goldmine.
Password managers make it easy for you, not hackers
A password manager generates a random password made up of numbers, symbols and letters. Impossible to guess because there’s no logic behind it.
Using the same password on multiple sites is a big no, no. But remembering so many is hard. A password manager will store your passwords securely. Some will also store bank card details, passport and ID cards, etc. You’ll also receive an alert if you try to use a password more than once.
Laptops, tablets, phones – they must all have unique passwords. Your phone holds the details of all your business associates, mates and family. You’ve listed birthdays, home addresses, Skype addresses…
The social media goldmine
We’re all over social media like a rash. Facebook, Twitter, you name it! Sharing intimate details of our lives with the world.
Meet my mum... yeh I know, funky maiden name. I was born on…, I named my first dog after my favourite singer. Elvis is king! Guess my password…
1LuV3lv1$? Yay, give the guy a cigar!
You don’t have to stop using Facebook, just learn when to shut up! Hold back on what you share, and mix it up a bit.
Answering security questions, creatively
Which bright spark told you that you have to be honest when answering security questions?!!
- My favourite animal is the lesser-spotted pink Ferrari.
- I was born in District X.
- Favourite food? Mmmm, bat stew with dumplings.
- Where was my school? Sesame Street, duh!
Why? Because guessing them is nigh on impossible.
Don’t share your information, share access
Only a fool shares their password. But there may be times when it’s unavoidable. Family member, your accountant...
Account providers, whether it’s banks, domain registrars, etc., offer shared access. This means that you can grant access to your account in a separate profile. As the account owner, you have control over what they can see and do.
If you have an account with EuroDNS you can enable shared access and offload renewals, transfers, paying bills, etc. You remain the boss and delegate to your minions.
Two-step verification (TSV) will protect your accounts
Two-step verification is an additional layer of protection that prevents unauthorised access to your account. It asks that you confirm your identity each time you want access by using a temporary code, which you’ll receive in a text message on your phone. It’s like the fob you have from your bank that gives you a new PIN each time you want to use your account.
All the big boys use TSV – Apple, Twitter, MailChimp, Microsoft, Google, Amazon. Proof enough, no?
A secure cloud or a big fluffy place where hackers go to hunt?
The Internet never forgets, Father Christmas is just a fat, bearded guy in a red suit, and cloud storage is not secure!!!
The truth hurts! Secure cloud storage has vulnerabilities. Oh, and the beard’s fake. Don’t store personal photos and videos, confidential documents, or passwords from your computer or phone.
You should turn off automatic upload of data to the cloud. Instead, back up your stuff to an external hard drive, and only access it when you’re offline.
Public WiFi hotspots are great for visibility
Free WiFi is so blooming useful! But these freebie networks are not encrypted, a small child could hack them.
Assume that everything you’re doing is visible. Including your email contacts, your online purchases, and the domain name you just registered with your contact details included. Even the porn site you’re perusing purely for research reasons. It’s all visible!
Virtual private networks (VPN) – an essential tool for online anonymity
Use a VPN and all your traffic, whether on shared or public networks, will be encrypted. Your traffic will be protected against hacking.
Fly in the ointment...
Some VPN providers log users’ IP addresses, web activity and bandwidth usage. This means that if the scary authorities ask for this information, you can be sure it’ll be handed over. There are VPN providers that don’t take any information from users, not even an email address. If that’s what you’re after, check out the T&Cs.
Clear your browser history - avoid hackers & embarrassment
Clear the browser history of all your devices on a regular basis, be it home, work, tablet, or smartphone. Browsers keep track of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. That’s every site you’ve visited, and it can be there for weeks.
Yep, that’s how your mum discovered your dad’s little hobby!
WHOIS domain privacy – go ex-directory
Do you own a domain name? Did you enable domain privacy? If not, your contact details are public, EVERYONE can see them. Yikes!
If this makes you uncomfortable, you can activate domain privacy and keep your anonymity. You’ll go ex-directory and our contact details will be published.
https://www | SSL certificates | Safe websites
Look for the SSL padlock and https in the URL before accessing and sharing information on a website. It shows that a website has been issued an SSL certificate. It's a genuine and secure website, with all online communication encrypted.
Don’t mess with untrustworthy email
If an email looks a bit off, don’t touch it. Don’t click links, don’t open attachments. Don’t share sensitive information. Be 100% sure of its authenticity.
Your email address – best practice
- Your email password is super-critical. If the bad guys discover your email password, they can use password reset to change the password and take control. They’ll be one step closer to accessing your bank account. Two-step verification can stop this happening, if it’s available, use it.
- You should try to use a different email address for each account, each with a different prefix... jdoe@gmail, jdoe@hotmail, jdoe@yahoo - not going to cut it, way too easy to guess.
- Your recovery email should be unique and only used for password recovery.
- Apps and services that ask you to log in with your Facebook credentials are a pain in the butt. You should try to keep accounts separate and activate TSV for your Facebook account.
Time savers and short cuts reduce your security!