Today is National Computer Security Day, an annual event aimed at raising awareness about the importance of cyber security. It’s an issue that impacts every business and individual, and depends on strong technology systems combined with intelligent habits.
The subject is a big one, and can feel pretty overwhelming—making it difficult to know where to begin. So in honor of today, here’s a list of 5 quick things you can do in 5 minutes or less to instantly improve your online security.
1. Update your web browser
If you haven’t updated your favorite browser lately, not only is it probably running slowly but you could be vulnerable to a host of security threats, including viruses, malware, spyware, and many other issues. Boost your browser’s performance and security by taking a few minutes to install the latest update.
2. Generate a new password for one of your social media accounts
Choose one website or social media app you use multiple times a day, like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Then, use a password generator, like Dashlane’s, to create a complex, strong password you’ll use for that account.
3. Sign up for online banking notifications
Contrary to popular belief, not all identity thieves will go on an exorbitant shopping spree. Commonly, they’ll make small purchases on credit or withdraw small amounts in a short period of time to avoid tipping off a bank.
Online banking alerts are a great way to keep an eye on the activity in your banking account without a ton of effort. Mobile online banking apps usually have alerts that will notify you of any suspicious activity.
4. Check your credit score
It may not be on the top of your to-do list, but take a second to check your credit score. Along with setting up online banking alerts, regularly checking your credit score will help you understand your credit health and monitor that you haven’t become a victim of identity theft. Look for new accounts that you haven’t opened, social security numbers that do not belong to you or any immediate family members, unknown names, and other out-of-place information.
5. Enable two-factor authentication on one account
Add an extra layer of security to your online accounts by enabling two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is a feature that adds an additional “factor” to your normal login procedure to verify your identity using two of three possible identifiers: something you know (your password, PIN number, zip code, etc.) something you are (via facial recognition, your fingerprints, retina scans, etc.), or something you have (a smart card, your smartphone, etc.).
Most apps or websites will verify you via an email or a text message sent to your phone. During your lunch break, we challenge you to apply 2FA on at least one of your accounts, like your personal Gmail account, your online banking account, or Dashlane’s password manager! You can find a full list of supported websites and apps here.