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Where to begin with cyber security

February 20, 2024
min read
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Where to begin...

Cyber security is a big topic. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin which causes most of us to procrastinate until it’s too late. Here we want to provide simple and actionable steps for you to protect your money and data from online digital threats.

Here are 4 simple steps to start with:

  1. Create Strong Passwords
  2. Turn on 2FA/ MFA
  3. Make social media accounts private
  4. Turn on account alerts

Create Strong Passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense to protect your digital security. The key is to make sure every login has a UNIQUE and STRONG password. 

You can imagine a password is like the key to your house. It gives the key holder access to the whole house.

The characteristics of a strong password are:

  • 12 - 14 characters
  • A combination of letters, numbers and symbols
  • Only using one password for one login

Pro Tip: You can generate random passwords with a tool like 1Password generator.

Turn on 2 Factor Authentication/ Multi Factor Authentication (2FA/ MFA)

2FA/ MFA means that when you login you are prompted to get a second code from your email, phone or authentication app. This second step is important because it provides additional verification that you are who you say you are. The more steps of verification, the more sure the system is that it’s you. 

You can imagine 2FA/ MFA like an alarm system for your house. Once you use the key to get into the house, you still need a code to turn off the alarm. It’s a second verification step. 

How to turn on 2FA/ MFA: 

  1. Login to the account
  2. Go to your account settings or security settings
  3. Select an authentication method. The options are:
  • Authentication App (Most secure)
  • Email
  • Phone

Pro Tip: Turn on 2FA/ MFA for all important financial, email and telecom accounts because these accounts have the highest likelihood of being targeted. 

Make Social Media Accounts Private

The privacy settings on your social media accounts determine how much information you are sharing with the world. The more information you share, the more information that can be used against you. 

For example,your birth date is often used as a verifying question by your bank. If you share your birthday publicly on Facebook, scammers now have one critical piece of information to get into your account. 

How to change your privacy settings

  1. Login to the social media account
  2. Go to your account settings or security settings
  3. Turn all data to private
  1. Article here with more information

Pro Tip: Think twice before sharing information on social media that you wouldn’t want others to see and use against you.

Turn on Account Alerts

Account alerts are email or text messages that are sent to you when someone takes an action on your account. Examples of this are a new login attempt in your email, transaction alert on your credit card or a withdrawal alert from your bank. These alerts don’t prevent an attack from happening but they do let you know when an attack is taking place. These alerts can let you take action quickly and limit the extent of the damage. 

Account alerts are like a video doorbell. You get alerted by activity and therefore can take the appropriate action if you’re not home. 

How to 

  1. Login to your bank, credit card, and email accounts
  2. Go to notifications or alerts
  3. Turn on notifications for relevant activity

Pro Tip: Sending notifications to a person you trust can be a great way to take actions quickly.


Building your digital fortress

This is just the beginning, the threats are constant and evolving and that means our defenses need to be as well. Through our Newsletter you can stay up to date on the latest threats and the simplified steps on protecting your data and money.

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