Everybody knows that online security is important, but few people actually want to put any work into securing their online activity.
Today, I’m going to show you how to instantly improve your online security without putting too much work into doing so:
1) Enable two factor authentication on Gmail and other online services
Two factor authentication has been around for a few years, but it’s recently become popular in the last year or so.
Two factor authentication protects your accounts with two layers of security: after typing in your password, a service like Gmail will also text a time-based code to your phone. You have to enter both your password and that time-based code into Gmail in order to login.
Two factor authentication means thieves need two things to access your account: they need your password and your mobile device. And if a thief has your password and your mobile device, then your security has already been severely compromised.
Ultimately, two factor authentication is one of the easiest and most effective ways to safeguard your online security.
Currently, all of the following popular services offer two factor security:
-Google accounts (including Gmail and YouTube)
More companies are being added to that list all the time, so double check with your most-used services to see if they offer multi-factor authentication. You’ll spend a little extra time today enabling two-factor authentication but you could save countless hours of frustration in the future.
2) Connect to the internet through a VPN when you’re in public
Public Wi-Fi connections are everywhere. That’s awesome.
What isn’t awesome, however, is how strictly those networks can be monitored. Sometimes, companies monitor networks to make sure you’re not doing illegal things online.
In more malicious cases, a “hacker” monitors the Wi-Fi network to spy on your banking information and steal data.
In any case, it’s a good idea to use a VPN. There are plenty of VPNs out there, and most of the good ones required a paid subscription. You can subscribe to a paid one or use a free VPN service.
Many free VPNs are laden with viruses. Hotspot Shield, however, is one of the few legitimate companies that offers free VPN services. You can download their free VPN service here.
VPNs won’t totally protect you from malicious third parties, but they’re a huge deterrent.
Use a password manager service
Everyone knows that the best password looks something like this:
Unfortunately, a complex password like this is impossible to remember. Unless you have a visual memory better than Mike Ross from Suits, you’re going to need to use a password manager.
Password managers are basically highly-secure digital notebooks where you can securely store all your password information. KeePass and LastPass are the two most popular services out there, although there are others.
Password managers can be used to store complex passwords. Some people also use them to store secret questions/answers. Your secret question might be something basic like “Who is your favorite historical figure?” but your secret answer could be something crazy like “#%JADFIKA#$%K”
The good thing about password managers is that they work on multiple platforms. Whether you’re browsing on your smartphone, tablet, or PC, your highly-secure passwords are just a few clicks away at any time.