August 6, 2020•427 words
Keep your devices system up-to-date
Keeping your devices system up-to-date is essential to stay safe and prevent hackers from breaching your devices security. As well as new features and performance improvements, new updates also increase the security on your device by fixing exploits and various other bugs that could leave your device vulnerable.
Enabling the option for automatic updates, you can be sure that your device can stay up-to-date so you don't have to worry about manually updating it.
You should also always keep your browser up-to-date too because dangerous exploits and vulnerabilities in the browser could leave you exposed to a drive by attack through infected websites.
Use strong passwords
Always use a unique strong password for each account you have. Of course, remembering a unique password is kind of impossible unless you have a very strong memory. That's why downloading a password manager like LastPass, Bitwarden or 1Password can help remember them for you so you don't have to.
Password managers will store all your passwords into an encrypted vault so they're safe and only you can access them. With a password manager, the only password you'll need to remember is the 'master’ password that allows you access to your password vault.
I personally use Bitwarden Password Manager as it is open-source. Bitwarden is free to use, however there's a premium version for $10 / year with added benefits.
Use 2FA (2-Factor Authentication)
First of all, I will admit that using 2FA can be somewhat annoying and unfortunately it's probably not available with every account you have. However, it is another essential tool that will keep your accounts (if available) safe if a hacker manages you get your password.
When an account has 2FA set up correctly, logging into the account will only work when get a text message with a code. You must input this code into the sign in screen in order to login successfully. Without the code, you may not be able to login unless the website gives you other methods.
MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) is also the same security option like 2FA for some accounts.
If you don't want a code to be sent to you through text (as this can be less secure), you can set up randomly generated codes that you can input into the sign in page when requested to.
There are many free authentication apps that you can use. These are some examples:
- Google Authenticator (I personally recommend you do not use this authenticator but it's an option available)
- Microsoft Authenticator