While this race of strengthening and breaching security between companies and attackers is a never ending one, we as an end user can take very basic steps to safeguard our online presence. Today almost everything can be accessed through online platforms whether it is your bank account, your identity information, tax information and most commonly social media accounts. We will be providing you a list of Dos and Don’ts you can follow to ensure your account safety:
For your password safety:
- Do create a password at least 8 to 10 characters long. The longer the better.
- Do use a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. This type of password is called Alphanumeric passwords.
- Do try to use ‘Passphrases’. Passphrases are combinations of password and phrases. These are long and alphanumeric in nature. For eg. “1aMGo!ngF0raW@lk”, includes uppercase, lowercase, special characters, numbers and the phrase ‘I am going for a walk’.
- Do use a different password for each website you visit.
- Do try to login using your known personal devices. Login to a device which is shared by multiple people increases the chances of a compromised password.
- Do follow security incident emails sent by companies to review login activities or any suspicious activity over your account.
- Do keep your password in a safe place and never write it down anywhere.
- Do not use personal information in your password such as phone number, birthdays, etc.
- Do not use common dictionary words such as “naturelove”, “password”, “iloveyou”, etc.
- Do not use sequences such as “abcd1234”, or keyboard sequences like “qwerty”.
- Do not reuse passwords across websites.
- Do not use password hints. Password hints can be caught by someone who is close to you and knows your personal information. The same advice goes for setting strong password recovery questions and their answers.
- Use login verification with one-time-password for an added layer of security.
- Set a combo of email and phone number to request a reset password link or code.
- Be cautious of suspicious links and always make sure you’re on a secure website before you enter your login information. A simple way to identify a secure website is to look for a lock sign in the web address bar just before the website URL.
- Never give your username, passwords, OTP out to third parties.
- Make sure your Operating system, computer software, including your browser, is up-to-date with the most recent upgrades and anti-virus signatures. All these safeguard practices are applicable to your mobile devices as well.