happytechnewyearIt’s no secret that 2015 was the year that cyber crime really came into the forefront of the public eye.  With big, big stories revolving around hacking, government spying, and terrorist activity, it is clear that the internet is the new frontier when it comes to a new place to do battle.  Although big governments and terrorists are at it, there are still small crimes that target the public – including phishing, hacking, and data theft.  In 2016 you can do a lot in order to protect yourself and your data from hacking.  Here are a few tips that you can easily implement in order to be safer in the new year.

1.) Enable Two Factor Authentication.  If you can, enable two factor authentication on your accounts, especially your banking accounts and email.  These are the most important and sensitive accounts that you probably have.  In order to figure out how to enable two factor authentication, you can check out https://www.turnon2fa.com/ for good tutorials and to see whether or not you can do it on each particular account that you have.

2.)  Stop Using The Same Passwords.  I know, I know.  I’m an offender as well, and I know that 99% of the people I talk to have this bad habit as well.  It’s definitely hard to keep track of all your passwords for all your accounts.  However having the same password can be a huge security risk.  If you want an easier way to keep track of all the different passwords that you can use as well as the ability to create very strong passwords, use a password program such as LastPass. This makes it VERY easy to create unique, difficult to crack passwords that can be different on all of your accounts.  LastPass uses very strong security and encryption.  If you’re worried about storing all your passwords with LastPass, consider that it’s probably MORE risky to use the same password for all accounts.

3.)  Stop Downloading.  Stop using torrents, stop downloading “free” software.  Although it’s nice to get “free” stuff, you’re opening yourself up to a huge risk of getting a virus or malware on your computer by downloading from these internet bad neighborhoods.  I’m a huge proponent of NOT doing this, although I caved in one time because I needed a program to open .rar files.  Unfortunately this stupid program came backed with adware piggybacking alongside – I got overtaken by the Conduit search malware and needed to use a program to get rid of it.

4.)  Start using Spyware removal software.  These programs are different than antivirus software.  Spyware is essentially very different from viruses.  For example – I use Norton 360, however it did not detect, block, or remove Conduit.  Norton probably thought I wanted Conduit on my computer because it masquerades as a legitimate program.  Perhaps by now Norton has blacklisted it, however at the time nothing except Spyhunter would remove the offending software.  Some people are wary of these software tools as some programs in the past have been nothing more than scareware.  However Spyhunter is safe and effective and I used it myself to remove Conduit.

5.)  Embrace biometrics.  Some people are wary that their fingerprints or faces will be entered into some weird database.  I have a friend who is senselessly paranoid about it.  However biometrics are one of the most secure forms of security, and also the most fun to use.