Internet Security: Staying Secure Online (P2)

Use 2-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a form of authentication that requires an acknowledgement by you. It is usually implemented through a mobile phone that you carry around. It is an extra step to the log in procedure and it makes it harder for someone to get access to your accounts.

The advantage is, imaging that someone hacked my email password. They log into my account and are asked for a verification code. Since the verification code is sent to my Phone – they are unlikely to be in possession of both my phone and password – hence they cannot access my emails, even if they have my password.

For enhanced value: Since I will get the text message and I’ll know that I wasn’t trying to access my account, I’ll have a pretty good idea that someone was trying to access my account and I can change my password at once.

I enable 2-factor authentication wherever it is available, including:

  • Google (Gmail, Apps, etc.)
  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
  • Twitter
  • Others

just to name a few. If anyone were to access my credentials to any of these services, they would still need access to additional information in order to gain access to the data in the service.

2-factor authentication is a little tricky to get used to at first (with all your apps), but these are one-time efforts and the additional work required to set this up is well-worth the piece of mind.

Always use SSL when it is available

SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a version of HTTP in which the data to and from the server is encrypted. A million things have been said about this, and since it is so widely spread and used, i see no reason not to embrace the offering.

And finally, do not be stupid

If the offer is too good to be true, the request is too suspicious, and coming from a source who never previously have requested something from you – i do not click, respond or visit the site. If you gain to much, for too little effort, it’s properly not worth it.

If you have other suggestions for good Internet security practices, leave them in the comments.


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