#hygiene

5 simple ways to enhance personal security in 2019

by Josh Harriman

January 31, 2019

access_time 5 min read

In Al Hartman’s recent blog, you learned security tips that would make a difference in your enterprise’s security posture. Now we’re exploring practical, effective methods for improving your personal cybersecurity. Here are 5 ideas to consider implementing in 2019:

USE A PASSWORD MANAGER

Employ a password manager and use it religiously. This is one of the simpler things you can do to protect yourself online. Password managers aren’t just for storing and autofilling your many passwords – they can keep an eye out for password breaches, suggest strengthening weak passwords and provide strong replacements, and, on mobile devices that support these features, let you log in to your device with your fingerprint or face ID.

Make sure your password manager of choice doesn’t allow you to recover the master password. That’s just one more door to open in your online security.

SET UP TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) on all your online accounts that support it. Your choice of password manager should feature 2FA, and you should also defend against security breaches online and on your devices. Some internet browsers, like Chrome, support 2FA. Your smartphone can also incorporate 2FA with the help of some third-party password managers.

CONDUCT A PENETRATION TEST ON YOUR HOME NETWORK

This is easier than it sounds. Penetration testing just means examining your home computer network to root out any potential security vulnerabilities and avoid connecting insecure IoT devices. Many tools exist that help non-IT security professionals easily conduct these tests. For instance, ShieldsUP! works from your browser to test your firewall for vulnerabilities and identify gaps in your computer's defenses.

PRACTICE DEVICE HYGIENE

Check for updates on your devices’ operating systems and browsers and disable Flash. Device OS updates are often security updates. They patch vulnerabilities discovered since the last update release. Updating regularly and as soon as those updates are released matters.

Flash, although once a ubiquitous browser plugin, has notorious security issues. Its vulnerabilities are so well known and so numerous that Adobe announced it will stop supporting Flash in 2020. So, until then, disable it wherever you browse.

ALERT YOURSELF TO FRAUD

Place a new annual fraud alert with one of the three major credit bureaus and avoid unwanted debit card usage. A fraud alert notifies lenders to verify your identity before adding credit to your name. Typically, your first fraud alert lasts 90 days, but now under the new law the fraud alert will last one year. There’s a benefit to this option as renewing it grants you get a free credit report from major credit bureaus.

Fraud alerts also save you headaches that come from placing a security freeze on your credit file, which blocks most lenders from viewing your credit history. A fraud alert allows you to continue doing business with lenders while protecting your information and finances.

Taking these steps can make your personal information more secure in 2019. If you’d like to learn more about making your enterprise more secure, learn more about Ziften endpoint security at: https://ziften.com.