Security matters now more than ever. Whether it's a credit card information breach, a company you 'trust' actually combing your accounts for personal information, or your computer getting hacked, it is vital to understand that your data is more at risk than ever.
So the question is, how can I protect my information?
Well there’s good news, we love helping people protect themselves and their loved ones, and we’ve got some expertise to help. We’ll cover a few things in this article, some simple and some complex, but both necessary.
The first thing you want to do on any of your devices is set a password. Available in a few different forms, a typed password can be used on your Mac while on your iOS devices you can opt for a numeric passcode or if you have a newer Apple device, you can use Touch ID to lock and unlock.
The next thing you’ll want to do is disable automatic login (if it's turned on). Often when people place laptops or other devices in their homes it seems easier to enable automatic login so they don’t have to always type in a password to login. The tradeoff is that should someone break in to your home they have immediate access to all of your files with ease. Unlikely? Sure. Impossible? Unfortunately, no.
You should also know that were hackers somehow able to gain access to your computer remotely and you have automatic login enabled, you’ve made it that much easier for them to comb your files, possibly without you even knowing. Disable automatic login on your devices, we can’t recommend it enough.
All Macs come with a piece of software installed called FileVault. FileVault helps prevent unauthorized access to data stored on your startup disk by encrypting your documents. Fun fact, when FileVault is enabled, you cannot log in automatically. A password will always be required. You can always turn off FileVault, but it cannot hurt to protect and encrypt your data!
Something else you may want to look into is an Antivirus monitoring software or Malware detector. We all hear the rumors that Macs are not susceptible to viruses and the like, but that's not entirely true. It is more difficult to contract viruses on your machine, but not impossible and it can't hurt to protect yourself ahead of time. That’s why we recommend Sophos. They offer a free Antivirus software for Home based machines. It runs quietly in the background, can detect threats and remove them just as easily.
You may also want to get a Monitoring system for your Mac and today luck is on your side. Foojee actually offers a product called Fast that runs in the background of your machine and detects issues that might come up with the hardware of your machine. For example, if your hard drive is on the brink of failure, Foojee Fast detects the issue and sends us an alert and reminder to reach out to you so you can take the proper steps to rectify the issue! If you’re interested in Foojee Fast, you can download it by clicking here.
When we talk about account security, we mean your Google, Social Media, Online Bank accounts and more. Just as your hardware is susceptible to privacy invasion so are your online accounts and we want to help you protect them. The best way you can do that is to come up with solid passwords. Mix a combination of lower case letters, uppercase letters, numbers and punctuation. The longer your password, the better (I know, I hate remembering long passwords too)! For example: “p3tnAme.sTreEt*
Sure, it’ll be a pain to type in those kind of passwords, but once you do it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it. Isn’t an extra 5 seconds of typing worth ensuring the security of your data?
If any of your online accounts allow for two-factor authentication, enable it. Two-factor allows you an extra layer of protection, it proves you are human, and it proves you are who you say you are. Enabling two-passwords makes it even more difficult for hackers to get anywhere near your data. Services like Dropbox, Slack, Evernote, iCloud, and even Google will allow you to enable two-factor authentication. Give it a shot!
We wanted to share some of the useful tools we’ve been collecting over the years.
1Password (mentioned in our previous blog post) is great because it can store all types of important information, generate passwords, and securely share with people of your choosing. You can also have the app generate passwords and remember them for you if you'd like! The app does require a slight financial investment on your end ($49.99 for OS X, $9.99 for iOS), but we believe the product is worth the money.
When you’re traveling and using wifi, if there is no password for you to log on to a public wifi network (like at Starbucks), that means your data can be read by others. The best solution is to encrypt your connection with a VPN tunnel. Cloak VPN Service was created just for that purpose and at $9.99/month for unlimited devices/connections it's hard to beat.
It's important to remember that technology is a tool not a human. People will always find a way to corrupt the use of a tool, but you can protect yourself using the tips and tools mentioned in this post. Make sure all of your devices are password protected and your data, encrypted. Enable two-factor authentication for your account security and create unique passwords! Use the tools we mentioned to help you do just that!
If you have questions about your personal digital security or security solutions for business, we'd love to talk with you! You can shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment below!