This third tip discusses ways to protect your most sensitive online information. Click for more details.
This is the third of a 5-part series on “Cybersecurity”
You now have your “Password” protected spreadsheet or word processing document with all of your online account profiles, credentials and contact phone numbers listed for each, and they should also now be prioritized most sensitive to least sensitive, as suggested in tip #2.
It’s now time to set appropriate levels of login authentication for each account profile based on its sensitivity. For instance, a greater level of login authentication should be set for your financial and health account logins and lesser degrees of login authentication for your LinkedIn-type profiles.
For the more sensitive online profile accounts, go through them one by one and elevate your security and privacy settings, which should be available under something like “Account/Profile Settings” or “Manage Your Account/Profile” when you are logged in. What this means is you should set stronger passwords, change your security questions regularly, and set higher level security and privacy settings that might be available for each.
When changing your security questions, it might be helpful to create your own questions instead of using the canned ones presented to you. Questions that you create tend to be more memorable and easier to recall when asked to verify your identity.
Additionally, and when it’s made available, you should setup something called two-factor authentication for your online applications like online banking. Some of the larger financial and medical institutions have this as an option which provides a greater sense of security. Two-factor authentication involves “something you have” and “something you know”. For example, “something you have” could be a verification code that the institution sends to your smartphone at the time of login. This code will be entered after you’ve entered your password, which is an example of “something you know”.
And finally, you’ll also want to change your passwords more frequently (i.e. every 60-90 days) for the more sensitive online account logins. And, don’t forget to keep your spreadsheet or word processing document up-to-date with these password changes!
Please be on the lookout for tip #4 in a couple of weeks where we will share and recommend system patching ideas to keep your technology equipment up-to-date and more secure.