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Managing Your Cybersecurity

Brandon Borsen, CPA

August 9, 2017

With a definitive uptick in hacking and ransomware, there has been a corresponding emphasis on cybersecurity. It is no longer simply a matter of arguing over erroneous credit card charges – personal data is being used to file fraudulent tax returns, claim social security benefits, and the like. Here at LBF, we want to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your personal information. As an easy starting place, let’s focus on password protections. Here are a few ways to strengthen your passwords and better protect your information from becoming compromised:

  • Avoid using easy passwords. As of 2016, approximately 17 percent of people still used the password 123456 when applicable.
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple logins. Approximately 55 percent of people use the same password for all websites. This may not seem as important, but if one of your logins suffers a data leak, the hackers will have access to all of your information.
  • While it may seem difficult having to remember a different password for each site, password manager applications can make this process easier. 
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This is a method of confirming a user’s claimed identity by referencing two different component pieces of information. Since most everyone carries their phone (or other mobile device) with them at all times, it is best to take advantage of this as a secondary component. Once your login information is submitted, a one-time code will be sent to your phone (via text) to verify your identity. Without the code, hackers can’t do anything with your login. Moreover, an unprompted (by you) text with a code provides information that someone attempted to log in with your information, giving you time to update passwords for further protection.

Although no one wants to spend the extra 30 seconds of their day remembering which password they used for which web site and going to their phone to get codes, it is a much better option than dealing with all the time and stress caused by having your data and identity compromised. Let us know if you need any help implementing personal security procedures today.

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