How to Secure Your Online Accounts – DIY in 5 Ep 114

Trisha was hacked! She learned a lot during the recovery process about how to keep online life locked down and she will share the tips here.

Get Rid of Old Accounts
Let’s go through some of the easier steps you can take to secure your accounts first. Go through and delete any old email addresses from your online accounts, especially those that might be listed as a recovery email on any other accounts. Then go through and delete any old accounts that you no longer use that might have stored personal or payment information or even backdoor access to other apps.

A great way to find some of these offenders, if you forgot, is to log into your Twitter or Facebook and look at all accounts that have been granted access to your account. Remove any you aren’t using then go directly to that site and terminate that account just in case. Old accounts are a prime way to get your information stolen and sometimes you may not even realize it’s happening because you had forgotten that account even existed! Another amazing resource is haveibeenpwned.com and that will immediately let you know if and where your data has been leaked and steps you can take to secure your data. Most of them are exactly what we’ll talk about in this video, but still, good info to have.

Password Managers
Next, get a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. Not only do they create secure passwords for all your accounts, but they also only require you to remember the one main password. Now, should anyone ever get that one password and get into your LastPass or 1Password, that’s a whole separate can of worms, but it’s certainly better than not having any password manager. Google provides a similar service through Chrome and your Gmail account, which is certainly better than nothing, but it’s not quite as robust as LastPass or 1Password.

Two-Factor Authentication
Go through the accounts you use frequently, which hold sensitive data, and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. If the account allows you to enable two-factor authentication through an Authenticator app like Google Authenticator or Authy, that’s better than SMS text messaging two-factor because people can always SIM swap and receive your text messages that way. Remove any less secure forms of two-factor authentication like a recovery email because some sites let hackers bypass more secure two-factor authentication by choosing the less secure option. And honestly, while two-factor is good, having a security key is often better. A security key is a physical tiny device you can keep on a keychain that communicates with your computer or phone via USB connector, Bluetooth or NFC.

Update your System and Software
In addition, it’s always a good idea to update your operating systems and software frequently so you don’t miss out on any security patches. Make sure that you completely erase any personal data on hardware you are selling. Your home Wi-Fi should be secured and it’s good to upgrade your router every few years in case a patch isn’t pushed through leaving you vulnerable. Obviously, the safest way to go is to not save any private information online at all but that’s unrealistic. There are always secure USBs and external drives as options should you want to save something locally instead of online.

Have you ever had your information hacked? How did you recover from it? What precautions do you take to safeguard your information? Let us know in the comments.

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