As we enter 2020 with even more regular scams constantly popping up on our social media, fraud bank emails and scam phone calls that can easily catch us out if we’re not on the ball, here’s a quick guide to getting yourself Cybersecure and protecting yourself as best as possible with technology this year.

Passwords

Regularly change your passwords. If you have the same password for all your accounts, it makes life simple for a hacker once he’s got into one of your accounts to get into all of them.

If you want to check to see if any of your accounts have been compromised in a data breach, have a look on www.haveibeenpwned.com.

If you are finding it difficult to come up with unique passwords that you will remember each time, there are two websites: www.lastpass.com or www.1password.com  that will remember all your passwords for you – you just have to remember the 1 password to get in or you can use your fingerprint on a smartphone.

Smartphones

Set a lock code on your phone if someone gets hold of your phone and gets into all your accounts on there including your social media.  A fingerprint scan to unlock your phone plus a pin or password after an unsuccessful attempt is even better for added security.  You can even set your smartphone to wipe all data after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts should a fraudster continue to keep guessing your pin.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

This is where you have both a username and password to login.  It is recommended not to use 2FA that will send codes via a text message as in the event that your phone is stolen, the thief can put your sim card into a new phone and then request an SMS code to reset the password for all your personal accounts. Setting a pin on your sim card can help.

Alexa and Google Assistant

For your own security, if you have enabled the ‘delete by voice’ option in account settings, you can ask Alexa to ‘delete what I just said’ and Google Assistant to ‘delete my last conversation’. In the latter there is also a ‘voice match’ function, this can prevent anyone else accessing your account. On Amazon, there is also a spoken pin to prevent others doing their personal shopping on your behalf!

Don’t Reveal the Real Truth!

Hackers hate lies. If someone has been researching you and discovers your maiden name, where you live, last dog etc, if they have found all that information on your social media accounts, it makes it very easy for them to get into your accounts. Therefore, the advice is to lie about your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first dog etc when setting up password reminders but remember the lie!

When Out & About

Bring a USB charger which plugs into a power socket or buy a power-only USB charging cable to prevent a cyber criminal using altered USB charging ports in hotels, airports and train stations.

Criminals can use public Wi-Fi to get hold of your personal info. To prevent this, it is suggested to use a virtual private network (VPN) which will create an encrypted channel between the remote server and your device. When checking your bank account or paying bills when out of the office, a VPN will keep your data safe.