If you’re looking to improve your security quickly and effectively, get yourself a password management app, and do it quick!
There are many vendors to choose from, but personally, I’d recommend 1Password or LastPass. They’re both pretty easy to use and come with mobile apps, desktop apps and browser add-ins to make it as simple as possible to create, store and retrieve your passwords.
But don’t stop there! Once you get your password manager in place, get to work on changing all your passwords. If, like many people, you’re guilty of re-using the same passwords across multiple sites and services, now is the time to make sure you have a unique password for each and every one of them.
All good password managers have a built-in password generator function. This will make light work of creating good, long passwords that are unique every time.
Enable MFA / 2FA
What is MFA or 2FA? MFA = Multi-factor Authentication or as it can also be known, Two-factor Authentication, is an additional way to identify yourself when logging on after you’ve entered your user name and password.
Typically you will use an Authenticator App such as Google Authenticator, Authy or Microsoft Authenticator to generate unique one-time passwords which you can enter when prompted.
Other times, you can choose to have a code sent to your phone via text message.
Either way, you’ll need access to your phone in order to log-in. This means that even if your password is compromised, nobody but you will be able to get into your accounts.
Most online services support MFA these days, you’ll find it under your profile settings and normally under the security or passwords section.
Turn on MFA for all your important accounts, especially email, social media and any important business applications.
Update your Software
Without doubt, it is of the highest importance that you keep your systems up to date!
Your IT provider may have this in hand, but if not, make sure you check regularly for Windows Updates, MacOS Updates and any application updates and fixes that are available for the products you use.
And whilst it’s important to be sure to keep your computer up to date, don’t forget to apply updates to your phone and tablets too.
Bugs and vulnerabilities that are present in the software you use pose a real threat to your security, potentially allowing malicious third-parties to gain access to your system and data. Often, without you even realising it.
By keeping your systems up to date, you are minimising the number of possible ways an attacker can gain access to your devices and your important data.