In today’s connected world, anyone with a background in security can tell you about the extreme importance of cybersecurity, especially for companies dealing with customer data or sensitive information. Often, we overlook the simplest security options on our computers and phones. Ignoring these features can leave us vulnerable and create devastating consequences to both our personal and professional lives.
When we use our computers and smart phones for most everything, we leave ourselves open to more risk for the sake of convenience. This risk is even greater when we don’t have proper security measures in place. These are a few quick and easy ways you can begin to implement more security measures on your device – many in less than 60 seconds!
Use Stronger Passwords and Pin Numbers
If you don’t currently have a password on your computer or smartphone, adding one is the most basic security measure you can take. It’s shocking how many people don’t lock their phones or computers. By keeping them unlocked, they are inviting the world into their financial and social lives. Don’t want to remember a passcode? Face ID and Touch ID are becoming more commonplace on devices. Recognition features are a great way to improve security without sacrificing convenience.
It’s also important to consider the password or pin number you’re using. Try not to make it easily guessable with numbers such as your address or your birthday. You can also avoid using any of the below pin numbers, which are among the most commonly used according to 4IG.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Everything
Most social media apps, banking apps, and other systems requiring a login have two-factor authentication available. The majority of these will send a code via text or email. Two-factor authentication gives you an additional layer of protection in case your login is used by the wrong person. By using two-factor authentication with your logins, you can prevent many security breach incidents that could potentially affect your reputation or career, leading to long-term consequences.
Typically, you can set up two-factor authentication in the security section of Settings in most apps and social media accounts. Two-factor authentication allows you to be more in control of your information and your security, so take the few extra minutes to set it up.
There are other places besides social media that you should also set up two-factor authentication. If you use online banking, it’s important to implement it on those apps and logins as well. Venmo is a popular app that utilizes your banking information to pay friends for purchases and other items online. The Venmo app is also a popular way to transfer funds between people. Additional security for apps such as these is essential. If you do use Venmo currently, you can also activate the Touch ID or Face ID and PIN feature in the Security settings on the app. When you utilize this feature, you’re required to enter a pin or verify your identity with your thumb or fingerprint, or face recognition. This is valuable if someone were to steal your smart phone and attempt to access Venmo to transfer funds into their own account.
Remove Your Passwords From Chrome
Google Chrome is a popular browser that most people use to do work on their personal or work laptops. Chrome also uses a feature that stores your passwords when you login to a website for the first time. While this might be convenient and save you a ton of time the next time you login to the website, it opens up your computer to main security issues. These passwords are stored as plaintext. Plaintext means that if you’re logged into your Google account, any password could be viewed by going to the Settings>Passwords.
Google will save both your username and your password for your accounts, including social media and online banking accounts. It will even show you the password as text without requiring anything additional, such as two-factor authorization. If anyone got ahold of your device, they could access the logins for any accounts that have been saved by the Chrome browser.
Spend some time deleting the saved passwords out of Google Chrome. You can do this under Settings>Passwords, and you should also consider deactivating the settings that give Chrome the ability to save your username and password. While signing in to websites and accounts in Chrome with this feature is convenient, it’s not worth the security risk. Have PC problems? TechLoris is a great resource to help you navigate security setup or issues.
However, there are many other more secure options that allow you to sign-in to your accounts with the same convenience. Password management tools, such as LastPass, give you the ability to securely save your passwords. LastPass, which is a free tool, has the ability to be used on both your smart phone and computer.
We all face risks when we use our personal devices to manage our financial and social lives. Losing your smart phone, laptop, or tablet is now equivalent to losing your wallet, especially if it falls into the wrong hands. By taking the time to implement some of these simple security measures, you can avoid a devastating security breach.