With security issues rising and the older generations growing wary of ‘outsourcing’ their information we’re starting to see companies take more of a stance on creating secure environments for their clients. As consumers we like to know we can trust the companies we buy from to keep our private information just that, private, but we fail to realize we have an active part in this too. Doing simple things such as updating your password, having a back-up email or phone number, and simply having strong security questions are all great ways to keep your information safe from hackers.
Avoid ‘Seasonal’ Passwords
Many of us are guilty of using the same passwords across multiple accounts or even the same variation of passwords, which can be an easy way for hackers to access multiple accounts without much effort. If you’re a seasonal password re-setter, you’re doing a great job with the frequency of changing your password, but if you’re using the season and year as your password, you might as well unlock the account altogether; Summer16, anyone? If you’re thinking to yourself ‘Wow, she just guessed my password!’, please pause your reading and go update that password.
Use Back-Up Information
If you should get locked out of an account the easiest way to get back in is to have a password reset sent to your email or phone number attached to the account. If you don’t have these options in place you’re suddenly unable to access information should you lose access to an account. According to Google, adding a mobile phone number to your account is one of the best ways to keep your account safe and allow access back to your information. As stated by Google, once the mobile phone number is added, they will use it to send verification codes to regain account access, provide alternative verification, prevent others from accessing your account, and so on.
Establishing Security Questions
Many online accounts will ask you to put security questions in place in order to verify your identity when logging on. If you are prompted to set up security questions it is in your best interest to do so as this is just another layer of security for your information. If you do decide to go ahead and enable this extra security feature, make sure you’re picking questions that aren’t common knowledge to those around you. If you are constantly talking about your dog, it might not be your best bet to pick the question “Name your favorite pet”. You’ll want to stray toward the questions few people would be able to answer.
Companies are cracking down on security and enabling features such as two-step authentication, automatic logout for inactivity, and more. If you’re serious about keeping your information private you’ll need to be an active member in doing so.
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