Remote workers, students: how to secure your devices? Step 1.
Step 1: passwords.
Securing the world starts with yourself. Yes, you! Because you are a link in the chain, whether you like it or not. You probably have a laptop, a PC somewhere in your home, a phone (or several), a fridge that tells you what groceries you need or a smart thermostat, an Internet router, Wi-Fi in the house, maybe even in your car, and undoubtedly a ton of other stuff that makes your life more comfortable. All those things do not work by themselves. They carry out their tasks because other humans have written instructions for them.
Humans…do see where this is going?
It‘s a human thing, nothing new and fortunately, most humans learn from those mistakes. But they are mistakes. And those mistakes make it easier for other humans to exploit them.
The good news is, there are some easy actions you can do to avoid becoming the victim of a cyberattack.
Patch all your devices and apps.
Preferably as soon as updates are released. Why? Because once an update has been published, whatever has been fixed in that update is also published.
In other words, whatever was wrong in the version you are currently running is also known! There is an antidote. And it’s a simple one. PATCH! Immediately!
Change the standard password on your devices, wherever you can.
Why? Because those standards passwords are commonly known. So, the first thing a cybercriminal will try to do when accessing your device is to run a list of standard passwords. And too often, they succeed…
Use a different password for each login (yes, each one!).
Nowadays, your identity is pretty much derived from your email address, your identity is known. Should you be using the same or different passwords (easily obtainable by well-written scripts), a hacker most likely knows it too… So, get yourself a proper password manager and make sure your passwords are all unique.
Use multi-factor authentications wherever possible.
Many devices and apps support the use of touch-id, a one-time password generated by an authenticator app, or some other form. Why? Because this prevents others from logging into your accounts, even if they know your id and passwords. An extra precaution you should always enable.
Learn more about identity and access management: