Let’s talk internet security

-by Richard Furleigh

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Furleigh post for breaking news that may help our friends and those out there in the internet world. We want your online presence secured so I felt this important to share.

It could just be me, but if your Facebook feed looks anything like mine you may have seen a whole lot of “I got hacked!” posts or gotten some rather interesting messages from people you know. No, they aren’t in trouble overseas, nor is anyone royalty, and those incomplete links you got in your messages do go somewhere but it’s probably best if you don’t know where.There’s a lot of info out there as the reasons how these things become compromised so what we’ll be discussing today is a few basics and what to do when (not if) you become compromised and ways to help mitigate the damage.

Through social engineering, phishing, and monitoring unsecured wifi connections getting your online passwords has gotten easier and easier. Depending on what is compromised this can lead to a cascade effect of exposed accounts depending on the sophistication of the attack. Example: Your Facebook gets hacked. Well your facebook has your email address attached to it, so they try that password/email combination around trying to get in where they can. If they get in somewhere they will check that new account that was breached looking for more accounts, passwords, and eventually the motherlode of banking info, credit cards, and E-pay.

The problem is most people have only one or two passwords for everything, which creates obvious security issues. So how do you secure your info online without driving yourself crazy with a million passwords? Below is a short list that I use that has simplified it for me. Have a unique password for each one of these things will create enough seperation to mitigate damage should something happen.

  1. All Gmail accounts (can use the same one across all accounts since Google is very secure)
  2. Banks (a unique password for each one)
  3. Credit Cards (a unique password for each one)
  4. E-pay: Pay Pal, Amazon, Apple Pay, etc… (a unique password for each one is recomended, though you could use the same one for all of these options since they tend to have high and similar security measures.)
  5. Other e-mail accounts (depends? I recommend unique one if you use it for bills or anything personal. Also Yahoo’s security is garbage so if you use them have a unique one for them)
  6. Social Media (here you can use the same one across all your media, just know if one gets hacked you have to change them all)
  7. Forums, music streaming, other (least secure, and least important. Can have same password for all these since they contain relatively little secure/personal information. Want my 8Tracks listening history? I don’t care.)

If you get hacked: change the appropriate passwords IMMEDIATELY. Keep an eye on your other accounts for suspicious activity.

You can also help prevent these things from happening to begin with by setting up two step account verification. Available on most secure websites (Google, Apple, etc…) two step verification requires you to authorize any new login via your cell phone or a currently signed in device so that even if they have the right password they can’t get in.

Hope that sheds a little light onto an often murky topic. This is by no means an exhaustive list but should be a good start. If you have any tips for others I would love for you to help out where you can since I’m no expert, and if you have any other questions I’ll see what I can do to help! Let us know down below. Stay safe while surfing, until next time Pengminions!

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