A woman sitting at a desk typing on her laptop. The laptop is white and has Facebook loaded on the screen. The woman is wearing headphones and has yellow and purple streaks in her hair. She is wearing an olive green colored shirt and has her hands resting on the laptop keyboard. There is a small cactus plant sitting in a metal pot to the right of her laptop.

A woman logging into a social media site on her laptop.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that help, and sometimes it’s the simple things that you forget.

Let’s talk about securing your accounts so that if the worst happens to you, you’ll know the steps to take to correct the problem.

Strong Passwords

You’ve probably heard this advice before, have a strong password.

What does that mean exactly? Use long, random, and unique passwords.

You’re probably tempted to recycle passwords or variations of passwords, definitely not the best idea. That’s where a password manager is helpful. They remember your passwords for you.

You only need remember the one password for your password manager.

One password to rule them all if you will.

If you’re looking for a good password manager recommendation, consider 1Password, which works cross-platform (PC, Apple, mobile devices) or KeePass (open source, and free).

Two-Factor Authentication

What is two-factor authentication (2FA) you ask?

This authentication method for securing your logins requires a second identifier, such as a biometric, app notification, or a physical key (Yubikey), in addition to your password.

By having 2FA in place, this helps protect your account from being compromised.

If possible, avoid using SMS or text messages to secure your accounts.

Why you ask?

The answer is SIM swapping.

SIM swapping, is where cyber criminals steal your phone number by calling your wireless provider and switching your number to a new phone and SIM card.

Additionally, when SIM swapping occurs, criminals now have control of your phone number and access to all your text messages. They could now intercept all incoming SMS messages with your login codes to help them bypass your 2FA settings.

Instead, opt for using an authentication app, such as Authy or Duo, both provide a two-step verification method along with verification codes for logging into each of your accounts.

This authentication method provides a better layer of protection for you and your data.

Keep an Eye on Your Accounts

Pay attention to your bank and credit card statements for any potential fraudulent charges. You can also freeze your credit to help prevent someone from opening bank accounts, credit cards or loans in your name.

If you’ve been the victim of a data breach, which many people have, it’s only a matter of when it happens to you, be sure to sign up for credit monitoring as an extra layer of security for your accounts.

One final step you can take, put fraud alerts on your accounts to ensure any unusual transactions are flagged by your bank or credit card company.

Lock Down Your Social Media

There’s a fine balance when you’re on social media for work and for personal reasons.

It’s impractical to insist you set everything to private or only accept friends you know in real life, especially if you have an online business or use your socials for communication purposes.

Do your best to separate your personal and professional accounts. Create an email account specifically for your socials, in case any of them are compromised. This way, you’ve only lost the account, and not all your personal email and accounts.

Consider using encrypted email such as Protonmail, especially for any sensitive communications.

Be careful what information you disclose online, as your data and details are a direct roadmap back to you.

Frauds and scammers take advantage of your desire to be honest and connect with others online. They will use all those little details you put out online to get access to you or your friends and family.

Audit Your Logins & Apps

If you’re currently using Facebook or Google to login into your accounts and websites, this gives them access to more of your data. Please think twice before using this option for logins.

Your privacy matters, and you have a right to know what companies do with your data. Part of cleaning up your logins is ensuring you limit the data companies can sell and use without your consent.

Therefore, consider a unique email address and password for your socials, or even create a throwaway email address you can use for email lists, newsletters or extra sites you rarely use.

Additionally, remove any third party apps from your socials or other apps that you no longer use, and that don’t need the connection. Data leaks often occur due to third-party access, so let’s limit your exposure where possible.

Final Thoughts

As with any steps you take to secure yourself, your devices, and your life, take it one thing at a time. It can feel overwhelming to try and fix everything all at once, and many people have dozens of devices to consider, and multiple family members.

This is about layering your security, making you safer one step at a time, and ensuring when the worst happens, you’ll already be prepared and have a plan.

Locking down your logins is a simple and smart part of your online security strategic plan. It’s about simple, snackable, security solutions.

If you need assistance now, you can book a consultation with us at https://lockdownyourlife.as.me/strategy.

The guidance included in this article do not constitute legal advice and is for educational purposes only.