Nov 6, 2013 Four Steps to Stay Safe Online
Do you want to pay your bills online? View your investment accounts? If you’re
going to start accessing your accounts online there are a few steps that you
should take that will help keep your information safe.
Step 1: Ensure that you have up-to-date virus protection on your computer. Many
people use products designed by companies like Norton or Mcafee. These can be
great investments to keep your computer free from invisible programs that could
share your data with others. You may also be entitled to free virus protection
from your Internet Service Provider like Charter, AOL, WA Broadband or Qwest.
Their networks benefit from low virus accounts enough to offer free or deeply
discounted anti-virus solutions.
Step 2: Positive Password Policies. There are a couple of steps you can take to
make sure a small mistake doesn’t turn into an internet catastrophe. It is
tempting, but do not re-use the same password across multiple log-ins. If one of
those password files is hacked, it will force you to change your password across
the internet. It is not worth it. Consider starting with a base password and
adding to it. Something like, Revolution123, Revolution 1234!, Revolution 1234!@
and so forth. This will give you options without creating exactly the same
password at each log in. If you have trouble remembering passwords and decide to
write them down, let your spouse or financial advocate know where they are and
keep them safe. Do not take them with you in your purse or wallet and do not
leave passwords anywhere near your computer. Another option to consider is using
singlesignon.com or the keychain function on a Mac computer to keep your
passwords locked behind one master password. This will keep them at the ready,
but make it difficult for anyone else to access.
Step 3: Make sure your computer has a password before it allows you to log-on.
Many times you don’t lose your password, but your computer is left behind at the
airport or even stolen out of your home. Make sure that whomever recovers it has
to at least enter a password to gain access to your information. I would even
recommend going one step further and installing Whole Disk Encryption. This is
available through Bit-Locker on your windows 8 Pro operating system, in the
preferences on your Apple computer or through a third party provider like
Symantec Whole Disc Encryption. This basically turns your hard-drive information
into a useless brick of data without the key to decipher it. Sleep soundly if
anything happens to your Laptop or desktop knowing that your data is safe.
Step 4: Mobile concerns. More and more people are detaching from their
computers altogether and living life with only smartphones or tablets. If you
are living a mobile digital life, make sure that you take THESE steps to secure
your apple product and These steps to secure your Android device. Mobile devices
are frequently lost or stolen and along with an address book can reveal where we
live, places we frequent and provide a detailed accounting of our past and future
schedules. Trust me, it’s worth the annoying unlock every time you reach for your
The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or
recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult your financial
advisor prior to investing.
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