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In this digital age, we certainly have a variety of digital accounts, among others
- Email (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)
- Social media (like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Chat applications (Whatsapp, Telegram, Line, etc)
- Online shops (Amazon, Tokopedia, shopee, Lazada, Bukalapak, etc.)
- Streaming services (such as Netflix, Spotify),
- Digital payment/wallet services (Link Aja, GoPay, OVO, FUND)
Come on, what else is your account?
We often hear cases of digital burglary accounts, both social media accounts, email, Whatsapp, and various other accounts. Even recently, there was news about the leaking of the account of one well-known online store in Indonesia.
Therefore, we must protect various digital accounts adequately. If it is leaked or hacked by people, the consequences will undoubtedly be detrimental to us. People who managed to break into and control our account can commit fraud and other irresponsible actions on our behalf, especially if the leaked accounts related to financial transactions.
How do you secure various digital accounts? Here are some cyber security tips you can apply:
1. Create a Strong Password
Don’t use a password that is easy to guess, for example:
- Date of birth,
- Child’s name or partner’s name
- The same or sequential numbers or letters (such as 123456, 111111, abcdef),
- Simple words that are too general, such as password, admin, iloveyou, qwerty
A strong password should not be too short (at least 8 characters) and consist of a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation, for example:
- paDang8sAte *
- 7kAli * emPaT
2. Don’t Use the Same Password on All Accounts
This is often a bad habit because they are lazy to remember various kinds of passwords, most people use the same password on all accounts they have.
This is very dangerous, because if only one of our accounts is broken into, then all other accounts are potentially also compromised.
3. Change Password Periodically
Changing passwords regularly is a hassle, but this needs to be done to improve the security of our various digital accounts.
Do not need to be too often anyway, just about once every three or six months. Especially if there is information about hacking of an online service where we have an account.
If we use a password management application such as 1Password, there is a feature that reminds us to immediately change the password of certain applications or websites, if there are reports that the online service is hacked.
4. Use the Password Manager Application
To make it easier to handle multiple kinds of digital account passwords, we recommend using the application to manage passwords.
Some of the benefits of using the Password manager application include:
- We can store our various passwords safely.
- Group them according to type so that they are easy to find when needed.
- Can be integrated with the gadget browser to automatically login to various services that require a username and password.
- Saved on cloud services, so that all your notes can be automatically accessed on a new device if you change devices.
- Can be shared with a family member who we trust.
We must be careful in choosing this type of application. Select the app with the best reputation and track record.
I choose 1Password for this purpose.
5. Use Two-Step Verification / Multi-Factor Authentication
Almost all internet-based services have provided security features in the form of two-step verification or multi-factor authentication.
This is like a double lock on a motorized vehicle. So to log in into service, in addition to a password, verification steps are also sent to our device, for example, in the form of an OTP code sent via SMS, or using authenticator applications such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Authy.
It’s important to use this feature to increase the security of digital accounts. So do not miss this security feature on all types of our accounts.
I wrote specifically about the details of how to use 2-step verification or two-factor authentication on various types of popular digital accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo, Apple ID, Whatsapp, and Telegram. For more detail, read the following article:
6. Never Give Your Password, OTP Verification Code, and or Other Account Details to Others.
One mode of account break-up often occurs is the request for a password, verification codes, or other personal data from an unknown person for various reasons. For example, claiming to be from the official app services, wrong sending messages, lure gifts, and so forth.
Beware of this mode and never send personal data, passwords, or OTP (One Time Password) verification codes to strangers.
7. Beware to Pishing, Never Link Suspicious Links.
Another type of burglary that we need to be aware of is digital pishing. This is a method where cybercriminals try to trick their victims into click certain links and providing personal data.
Commonly used modes include sending messages via email or chat applications, (such as Whatsapp, Line or Telegram), creating sites and/or email addresses that are similar to official services, informing you that you won a lottery or scaring your account hacked and They are trying to help to recover it.
Beware of this mode, never click suspicious links, especially from strangers.
8. Avoid Using Free Public WIFI.
Using WIFI for free in public places is tempting, but this is very risky. In addition to your passwords and personal information become vulnerable to being stolen by hackers, the devices we use are also prone to be infiltrated by viruses or malware.
In a video from channelnewsasia.com, Dan Tan, a cyber-security expert at Check Point Software Technologies, clearly shows the dangers of using free public WIFI. With the mode of providing free WIFI, a hacker can have full visibility and control your device, including:
- what you are typing
- what applications are being opened,
- what sites you are visiting,
- what documents you are reading. (even they can also save copies of the document in your device).
- If you download a free wifi application made by hackers, they can access all your smartphone features. For example, sending files, activating voice recording, or activating the camera.
Basically, they can have full control of your devices.
For more details about this, you can watch the video here
9. Always Update The Software On Your Device
All devices that we use, whether smartphones or computers use an operating system that needs to be updated regularly. (e.g., IOS and Android for Smartphone or Windows and macOS for PC/laptops).
Applications that we install on the operating system also require periodic updates.
In addition to fixing bugs and adding new features, the most important thing from this software update is to patch security holes.
Hackers are always looking for security holes from every existing operating system. Of course, the software developers are also continuously working to improve the security of their artificial systems. It became a kind of race that never ended.
So don’t be lazy to update the software. The bad habit of some people is to choose “remind me later” every time a software update notification appears on their device. If necessary, select the settings for automatic updates when a new version of the software is available.
10. Don’t Install Any Application / Software.
Be careful in installing applications on the smartphone or software on the computer. It could be that the app or software contains malware or viruses that can steal passwords and data from our personal data.
Although the Google Play Store and Apple App Store certainly have tried their utmost to ensure that the applications available in their stores are safe, there are still sometimes bad applications that escape their monitoring.
So always be vigilant before installing an application or software on your device. Make sure that the app comes from a trusted developer.
And of course, don’t ever use pirated software or jailbreak versions.
11. Use an Antivirus (And Always Update It)
Our passwords and data can also be stolen with viruses, spyware, or malware that infiltrate our devices.
Antivirus software can we use to protect the device from these diseases. If necessary, use the paid version and make sure the antivirus is always in an updated condition.
Some of the well-known antivirus software brands, such as Norton, Kaspersky, and McAfee, provide bundle packages that include an antivirus for various devices, including Computers / PCs, laptops, and tabs Smartphones.