Time and again, applications and websites tell you to create a stronger password, and we’ve given you the notes why they are your first line of defense for securing your devices. In addition to passwords, many websites and apps ask for additional security measures such as account security questions or two-factor authentication. While even we as technology professionals admit these can be arduous and even annoying steps, they are crucial to the security of your information.
Here are some thoughts on why they are important, and how you should address them:
- Account Security Questions
Your online presence has the potential to give hackers information, you wouldn’t initially think as sensitive. If you have seen the movie “Now You See Me” with Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, you may remember a scene where the magicians transferred over $140 million from Michael Caine’s bank account just by asking him the name of his dog and her grandmother’s last name. Though this was a movie, the same concept happens in the real world every day with digital and online security.Here’s how: Say someone is attempting to log into an account you have, but they don’t have your password. They click “Forgot Password”, and it brings them to the security questions page. Your questions here could be basic such as “what is the name of your dog?” or “where were you born?”. By doing a little light searching through your social profiles and other pages where you have an online presence, the hacker could easily find the answers to your security questions, thus gaining access to your account. Luckily, this can be easily avoided two ways. Be mindful of what you put online, making sure your security question answers won’t be revealed. Another way which can be fun, is to make up fake answers to your questions, that only you know. For example, your dogs name may not actually be “George Washington”, but that can be his name for security sake!
- Two factor Authentication
Acknowledging and being prepared for the possibility that someone could obtain your password and/or login credential is an important step in keeping your accounts and information secure. Once hackers obtain your password, they will try to figure out which accounts they can access with their stolen data. This is where two factor authentication plays a major role. It requires users to enter their password, but also confirms entry with other devices such as a text to a phone or code sent to an authentication app. This is a sure way to make sure no one is logging into your accounts without you being aware. When setting up two factor authentications, make sure to use current accounts, authentication apps, and phone numbers you know you will have access to in order to receive the login verification codes.
Keeping your online presence secure can greatly inhibit people from easily getting access to your accounts and sensitive data. As technology advances and with it, and hackers become more innovative and creative, it can become hard to keep track of all of the bases one needs to cover to stay secure, but that’s what The Tek is here for…to keep you informed and help you stay secure.
Have questions involving your online presence and digital security? Drop us a line at [email protected]