Let’s be frank: it’s hard to focus on your cyber security when you’re focused on paying your bills on time, taking care of your family, and finding a healthy work-life balance. But that doesn’t mean your security should take a back seat. 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.
Yes, I know you have a lot of super important tabs open, but don’t sacrifice your security because of it. If you haven’t updated your favorite browser lately, you could be vulnerable to a host of security threats, including viruses, malware, spyware, and a host of other issues. Outdated browser updates could also be the reason why your browser runs slower than usual. 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.
Here’s what I want you to do. Choose one website or social media app you use multiple times a day, like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Then, use a random password generator, like Dashlane’s Password Generator, to create a complex, strong password you’ll use for that account. If you need help remembering your new password, save it in a password manager.
Alternatively, you can use a password mnemonic trick to create a strong password that is easier to remember. You could also choose to make your unique password yourself. Check out our blog post from World Password Day with this downloadable checklist that will help you create a strong password.
3. Sign up for online banking notifications.
Contrary to popular belief, not all identity thieves with your credit card information 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 recent purchases, deposits or withdrawals, or 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 not only help you monitor your credit health but also make sure you haven’t become an identity theft victim.
When you do check your score, 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. For more tips on how to keep your financial information secure, see here.
5. Enable two-factor authentication on one account.
It’s time to 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. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by verifying 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 your phone. During your lunch break, I 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! For a full list of supported websites and app, click here.
When you have some more free time, try adopting the more security tricks provided in these articles on our blog!