A little added security

Target had 40 million credit card numbers stolen, Ashley Madison website had 37 million “cheaters” information stolen and posted online, and the IRS had 100 thousand users tax returns stolen. That is just a small sampling size of some of the security breaches that have happened. Our information is valuable and hackers are out to get as much information and data as possible, with the least amount of effort.

There are steps that we all can take to help protect our data and online accounts. The first thing that everyone should do is enable 2-step authentication. The most popular method involves inputting your username and password to gain access (think email, bank, or password keeper), and then you will receive an additional code by text to your phone. You will then enter the code sent from the website to gain access.  This gives you an additional layer of security but it does come at a cost. It will take additional time and may be an annoyance to wait for a text message, but it will protect your information more so than a traditional username and password.  There was a group of us having a discussion at our last VMUG, one of the guys showed me Google Authenticator. Google Authenticator is an app you install on your iOS, Android, or Blackberry. The app generates a random code for each connected website and it changes every 30 seconds. Google Authenticator works with Google and Gmail and it also supports WordPress, Outlook.com, LastPass.com, Evernote, and Dropbox. Techrepublic has a nice article explaining how to enable 2-step authentication on the popular websites supported above.

Whether you choose to use text messaging or Google Authenticator as your 2-step authentication, just make sure to use one of them.

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