Dear Clients and Friends,
Internet security becomes more complex daily. Being plugged into websites, servers, hosting services, various cloud services, and web based business applications, we see time and time again how vulnerable we all can be to attacks. This week alone, I know of two people, both friends and colleagues of mine had their emails hacked. In both cases, their emails sent me a document that I was supposed to review. It’s not uncommon for me to receive such emails, and it was from a trusted source so I clicked to open the first one. It asked me to verify my login credentials. This is when the flags went up for me. But it was all very innocent, and I easily could have given away my login information.
I immediately went in and changed my account credentials, just to be safe. I also ran a virus scan on my machine, ran a cleaner, emptied the trash, ran all the scans and cleaners again, and then rebooted. Maybe that was not all necessary, but it made me feel better.
While I don’t want my voice to blend into the noise we hear everyday about changing your passwords, identity theft, etc., I do want to use this platform I have to remind you that the 30 seconds of changing your password routinely can save you hours of the dreadful efforts involved in dealing with a hack. If this note can save any of the recipients from having to give up those hours of precious time, this has served its purpose.
There are many technologies out there that automatically assign very strong passwords to all of the sites you use so you only need to remember one. If you feel that kind of service is not for you, and you prefer to just maintain your passwords yourself, then please follow strong conventions. Mixed cases, letters, numbers, symbols, random words or phrases that have been manipulated to be somewhat unrecognizable, but still memorable for you are all elements of a good password. There are extensive articles out there on best practices if you are more deeply interested in the subject. Just remember, create a very difficult password to crack, change it often, don’t use the same one multiple times – or worse, on multiple sites – and if 2-step verification is an option, it’s a good idea to use it.
Thanks for reading, and be safe online.