For those of you that didn’t know, February 5 was Safer Internet Day. Some may find it ironic that it happens to follow one of the largest password leaks in history (we do). We decided to commemorate the event by giving you 4 tips to making your travels across the internet a little bit safer.

1. Use unique passwords!

If this sounds familiar, we mentioned it last week in our post about that massive password leak. And we’re telling you again today. And we’ll tell you again soon. Just Google “repetition is the key”, and you’ll see why we repeat ourselves so much.

According to a recent poll by Google and Harris Poll, 52% of people use the same password for multiple accounts. Amazingly, 13% reuse the same password for every account! For these people, password leaks put them at high risk of compromise. Use a password manager and select a unique password for any account you create. With this practice, only one account is at risk if the password is leaked.

2. Activate two-factor authentication (2FA).

You’ll find two-factor authentication (2FA) or 2-Step Verification nearly everywhere these days. 2FA adds an additional step to the sign-in process. It typically involves one of the following:

  • Entering a code sent via text message
  • Entering a code generated by an app on your mobile device
  • Approving access when prompted on another trusted device

This simple step greatly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. Some services allow you to trust the device, so you never have to enter the code again after the initial login. The interruption can be minimized, and the extra security is worth it.

3. Add recovery information to your account.

According to the poll we mentioned earlier, most people already do this. If you happen to be one of the 27% who don’t, you should reconsider. While we value privacy just as much as you, you probably won’t value getting locked out of your account potentially forever. Simply adding a phone number or email address provides you with a means of regaining access to a locked account.

4. Update your software and apps.

Developers typically release updates specifically to fix bugs and patch security holes. Some software will offer to update itself automatically. In general, you should let it do so. More importantly, verify that your operating system installs updates regularly. These system updates can help protect your device from the latest vulnerabilities.

Depending on your situation, this step may fall upon your IT provider or department. If so, verify that they’re actually installing updates regularly. If you’re a client of Pit Crew IT Services, know that we have you covered. We handle this process entirely for our clients.

To Safer Internet

It may not seem like much, but just these 4 tips can go a long way in protecting you and your accounts. If you’re already following them, then congratulations! You’re making the internet safer already. Keep up the good work!

In business environments, there are additional layers of security that we recommend. Small businesses are hacker’s favorite targets. If you’d like assistance with improving your IT security situation, we’d be happy to analyze your current IT solution and provide recommendations for improvements. Simply use the button below to request a free consultation!

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