Would you leave your house or your car without locking the doors? Of course not. But are you putting the same amount of thought into protecting your digital life?
Enter Marc Goodman and his upcoming Creative Live class, How to Secure Your Digital Life. With extensive experience in global security, cybercrime and law enforcement, including work as an undercover investigator and senior advisor to INTERPOL and the US Government, Goodman is the cyber guy you want to have on your side.
Goodman has pointed out that almost 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked into every day. On top of that fun fact, about one million new malware threats pop up every day around the world—and that antivirus software you’re currently using only catches about 5% of these new threats. If you’re like the average American, you have about 130 online accounts, and that number is steadily rising to 200. And even more concerning–someone’s identity is stolen every two seconds in the U.S.
Securing your online accounts doesn’t take much effort or time, but it can save you from serious financial loss, identity theft and endless stress. To help you ward off malicious hackers starting right now, here are three of Goodman’s most important tips that are also quick to implement:
Automate your updates
This is probably the easiest change you can make right now. By setting your computer to update its software automatically, you are keeping yourself more protected from constantly evolving malware that is designed to attack modern software.
Fortify your passwords
You’ve heard it a thousand times—don’t use the same password for every online account you have. If you’re guilty of this because you can’t possibly remember a different password for every account, try saving your passwords in a password wallet from a trusted company. Goodman recommends 1Password, LastPass, KeePass or Dashlane. Another way to keep the hackers at bay is to use two-step authentication whenever possible. When you register for an online account on your mobile phone, you receive a one-time, unique password in a text message or app, which means hackers won’t be able to access your account without physical access to your phone. This extra layer of security is available from companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Paypal and Dropbox, so if you already have any of these accounts, you can go back to your account settings and add in the two-step authentication process.
Turn it off
Does your desktop computer stay on all day when you’re at work? Do you leave your laptop on all weekend even though you’re not using it? Do you keep your smartphone on all night? If they aren’t being used for long periods of time, turn them off. The longer your devices stay online, the more vulnerable they are to being attacked. Take it one step further, and turn your wifi off when you go to sleep—this alone will reduce your cyber risk by 1/3.
To get the low down on the realities of cyber attacks, check out Goodman’s class and learn about the steps you can take to reduce your risk of being hacked by up to 85%.