Maybe the current COVID-19 pandemic has you working from the kitchen table, or perhaps you have always been a freelancer who thrives in your home office. Or perhaps you have been concerned with some obvious “phishing” emails that have shown up in your inbox last week.
Whatever the reason, you are currently more motivated than ever to secure all of your home technology and keep it safe from malware, viruses and hackers.
Fortunately, making sure that your technology is as secure as possible is not an overwhelming and impossibly time-consuming task. In the course of a couple of hours, you should be able to boost the safety of your home tech devices.
Invest in an Identity Theft Protection Package
One of the worst things about being the victim of identity theft is that people often don’t learn about it until the crooks have done lots of damage to their credit. To help ensure that your home technology, and your personal data remain safe and secure, consider investing in an identity theft protection package from a company like LifeLock. If you accidentally click on an email claiming to be from your bank and a hacker accesses some of your account information, LifeLock will notice the issue and notify you that something is amiss. They will keep virtual tabs on all of your other personal data too. To make signing up for a LifeLock program as budget friendly as possible, the company is currently offering identity protection discounts that will make getting a package both affordable and convenient.
Use Strong Passwords on All Devices and Accounts
Because a password is required on any online account these days, it is tempting to use the same easy-to-remember code to access everything from your bank account to your library card and your email. However, overusing the same password will have serious consequences if your data is compromised. A strong password is longer than eight characters and should have a variety of letters, numbers and special symbols. To help make this easier, use a password manager like LastPass that will create long and strong passwords for you. While you will have to memorize one password to access the others, it will give you peace of mind knowing that your bank information and other accounts are well-protected with virtually impossible to crack passwords.
Use a Firewall and Current Antivirus Software
Microsoft offers a number of helpful tips that are ideal for all computers and technology, whether yours works with Microsoft or not. For instance, ensure that a firewall is installed on your tech devices and then make sure it is on and functioning correctly, and check that your antivirus software program is current and up and running. The antivirus program should do its own security checks but it would not hurt for you to manually run the program on a regular basis—this way, if you or someone in your home accidentally clicked on a phishing email that morning, you can immediately check for any issues.
Add Multifactor Authentication
This tip involves providing more than one form of identification to access your technology—for instance, you will need a password and facial recognition ID to access your phone or your laptop. To set it up on your device, Google the type of computer or phone you have along with “multifactor authentication” and you should find advice on how to do this important step. For example, for iPhones and other Apple devices, Apple offers simple tips that involve going into Settings and switching on this option.
Secure Your Technology, Secure Your Good Name
Regardless of when and why you use your technology, it is vital to secure your devices in a number of ways. From investing in an identity theft program and using a password manager to create strong passwords making sure you have multifactor authentication and an anti-virus program set up, there are plenty of steps you can take to set your mind at ease and know you, your sensitive information and your good name will be as protected as possible.