Cloudy with a Chance of Falling Stars – Part II

Cloudy with a Chance of Falling Stars – Part II

Online security is a constant concern that requires some consideration so that is does not turn into a problem. To overcome negligence and almost voluntary vulnerable behaviors it is necessary to transition from a passive observer into an actively preventive participant.
To make this transition take into consideration some basic rules that intend to increase your online security rates:

1. Is your device protected by a PIN Code or an equivalent unlocking mechanism? It will amaze you how something so simple can be enough to stop the physical unauthorized access to your device, weather you lose it or leave it temporarily unattended.

2. How long has it been since you don’t change the password on your account(s) (Gmail, Microsoft, iCloud, etc.)?  And is it a dictionary word? Is it the name of a relative, pet or just Password123? Then you’re asking for it…
– If you want to listen to me, just go and change your password immediately… I mean now, really. Change it for something like: P9yh4g)7r8k3.

– If your memory tends to fail you on this, then come up with sentences that mean something to you or that will be easy to remember according to the context that they are being used in:
– For instance: “2Bon2Btitq!” is the same as saying: “To be or not to be, that is the question!”
– Or: “T3sirrg_” which is the same as saying “This email service is really really good_” (although this one may sound a bit like “fanboyism”)

3. Do not reuse passwords, meaning you should try to use different passwords for different services. That way, if one of your accounts or service providers gets successfully attacked, your other accounts and services will not be compromised.
4. Do not send passwords through e-mail or instant messaging. It will be like stealing candy from children if by chance anyone gets access to your e-mail or message service accounts.

5. Using multi-factor authentication is getting increasingly common, so why not take advantage of that and the security it provides?

6. There is no legitimate company in the World that would send you an e-mail or contact you in any way with the intention of accessing your password. Do not click on links from messages that refer the need for urgent changes in your account, especially if that requires you to insert your credentials. You should preferably insert manually the link for that company on the browser, instead of clicking on the direct link from a certain message.

7. When you’re accessing online services (Facebook, Gmail,, DropBox, OneDrive, Yahoo, iCloud, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.) from a computer other than yours, don’t leave without ENDING ALL THE SESSIONS! He who uses the computer after you will be able to access your accounts if you don’t do so!!

These suggestions do not close this subject – not even close; these are just starting points. The perfect scenario would be not to keep confidential or sensitive information in a mobile device or online service. But if you really have to, just be cautious about it and delete it as soon as possible. You don’t want to leave your house without an umbrella on a stormy day, right?

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