Whether you are one of the millions who make regular purchases or the billions who use the web as a communications tool both at work and at home, it is important to realize that YOU are the first line of defense when it comes to establishing Security for your Online Identity. The recent release of a massive Data Breach that compromised 1.2 BILLION email addresses (yes that is right 1.2 BILLION) is not so much a reason to be scared, but it is a reminder to each of us to take the world of security a little more seriously.
The way that I see it, there are three minimum things that everyone who accesses the internet should do to offer a basic level of security:
1) Change your Passwords at Least 3 times per year
Personally I have things set that I change my passwords across the board on everything every 2 months regardless of what is going on in my life. This is across all aspects of my online life (Social Media, Web Site, Email, Computer Logon & WiFI Encryption). I don’t use easy to guess passwords and avoid the common pitfalls of Passwords (see the Gizmodo Article and if you are using any of these…log off and walk away from your Keyboard, Phone and Tablet, move to cabin in the woods and well just give up because in my opinion, you are as bad as a parent who does not vaccinate your kids)
2) Log Out of Secure Sites
Whether it is your online banking or a Shopping Cart or really any site that asks you to login…SIGN OUT when you are done at the site. Secure Sites will log you out after a predetermined time…but don’t tempt the fates…just log out!
3) Don’t Share
In this day and age we share EVERYTHING! We post what we are having for dinner, where we are going for our vacations and everything in between. The amount we all share is actually surprising…and I am just as guilty as everyone else but one thing that I do not share is my Passwords and Access. You want to get onto my network at home, you get guest access, if you want to use my computer…you get your own login (that is generally very locked down). I don’t give just anyone access to the truly personal aspects of my digital life and neither should you. I am still amazed at how many Unsecure Networks I can access during my Pedestrian Commute to Work each day.