Usually, at this time of year, we start to consider the coming 12 months.
What will we achieve?
What are the dreams?
The obvious ones involve drinking less alcohol, getting fit, reading more and others.
However, there is one area of your life that needs careful consideration and that’s online security.
2020 has been a year like no other. We’ve spent more time shopping online. Working online. Socialising online.
Online is the watchword. But, how secure is your online life?
Do you use one password or many?
Are your passwords strong and unique?
Here are 4 steps you can take, right now, to ensure that wherever you go, online, you don’t betray your security.
1. Use a strong password
Your passwords need to be hard to guess.
Do not use family names (or pet names) or dates of birth.
2. Use a unique password
Each account must use a different password.
The more unique your passwords, the better the protection.
You might use the same username for your online accounts, so using the same password too will just make it very easy for hackers to access everything.
3. Use Two Factor Authentication
This instantly doubles-down on your security, as you will need an additional piece of information at the point of logging into your account.
Whether as one-time password sent via text, or you use a separate app to generate a code; without this there is no-way of getting access to your online accounts.
4. Use a password manager
This is the top tip.
A password manager will help you achieve ALL of the above with the minimum of fuss. From actually creating passwords for you, and storing them securely, through to storing your payment card details, and any other personal information that you want locked into a vault (e.g. passport details, driving licence, store cards).
I highly recommend LastPass. I’ve been using them for almost 10 years and it makes it very easy to create and manage my online accounts. In fact, I don’t even know the majority of my passwords.
Once created, my login credentials are automatically populated when I go to a website.
My payment card details are also safely stored, so when it’s time to pay, I can easily retrieve them, and they automatically populate into the fields on the payment page.
The only password I NEED to remember is the LastPass password. Other than that, everything is stored. Whether on my laptop or on my phone.
Personal online security is a subject close to my heart. It seems the simplest thing to do; but it’s amazing the number of people who, at the very least, don’t use different passwords.
You can sign up for a LastPass Premium account, which is free for 30 days, and after that it’s approximately £31 per year for a single premium account.
For £10 more, you can get a family account, which allows you to manage up to 6 people - of course, you can’t see their passwords, and they can’t see yours.
Personally, I think that’s very reasonable for peace of mind, and it’s a great way to get 2021 off to a very secure beginning.
Happy New Year
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