How to secure your online accounts

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Protect your accounts online. Image from http://investor.gov/news-alerts/investor-bulletins/investor-bulletin-protecting-your-online-brokerage-accounts-fraud

In the past two months a lot of companies have been hacked and some blackmailed with the information gotten. There was also a lot of hacking on Facebook and it resulted to having user accounts showing inappropriate photos on their timeline. Most of the companies hacked were in the United States but that does not mean we are safe. You may not have anything worth stealing but you still want your information secure. Newbie hackers start off by hacking smaller accounts before they go for big fish.

Protect your accounts online. Image from http://investor.gov/news-alerts/investor-bulletins/investor-bulletin-protecting-your-online-brokerage-accounts-fraud
Protect your accounts online. Image from http://investor.gov/news-alerts/investor-bulletins/investor-bulletin-protecting-your-online-brokerage-accounts-fraud

 

These are measures for you to secure your online accounts before you become training grounds for wannabe hackers.

1. Have strong passwords

It is a well-known fact that our password should be long and difficult to guess but people take this so lightly. With the Ashley madison hack that happened about two months ago, a lot of the passwords were the name password, 123456 and 1234567.

Have a strong password by:-
a. Your password should be more than 8 characters long with uppercase, alphanumeric and symbols mixed in.
b. It should not be easily guessed for example do not put variants of your name, pet names, family members, favorite movies and girlfriends names.
c. Do not use the same password for everything as if one of the accounts is hacked, the hacker will try to see which other of your accounts will open with the same password.

2. Secure those security questions

Most accounts have security questions that you have to answer so that you can prove it is your account is some malicious login attempt is made. They are mostly in the form of who your kindergarten teacher was or what your pet name is. We all enter answers everyone knows like everyone who went to kindergarten with you knows the answer. The answers should also be a mixture like the passwords. You can also have a sentence as an answer but do not leave spaces so that it is one word.

3. 2-step verification

This is the most tiresome security measure there is. No one wants to wait for a message on their phone with a code for you to enter on your Facebook. It is tiresome but worth it. Have this security measure so that if you log out, you will have to have a code to log in. in your personal computer you do not have to log out which is pretty nice but if you are in an unfamiliar environment or on the school computer this verification will come in handy.

4. Change your password frequently
The rule is to change your password every three months. In corporate settings the I.T department ensures that all employees do it. It is good practice for your online accounts as well. You can even change every month if you want it more secure and do not use a password you have used before.
5. Set up login notifications
Put it that you get an email if your accounts are logged in from an unfamiliar device. My gmail gives me the notification if I log in from any other device other than my computer and phone. This will help you know if someone is logging into your account and you can log in, change the password and log him out before he has done any damage.
6. Don’t link your accounts
We like to link our social media accounts. You want to post a selfie on instagram but would like it to appear on Facebook and twitter. What this does is if a person gets access to your instagram account, they have access to your Facebook and twitter. Think it is a good idea anymore?
7. Check for https://
This is mainly for things that use online payments like your internet banking account and PayPal. Make sure you see https and not http. Https is a secure connection and is recommended if you are going to make any online payments you first check for this.
Have a secure account by integrating these security measures.

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