In a time where smartphone apps are like a world apart, and passwords are the keys to that world, it is important to know how to protect personal data from hackers.
Insanely popular mobile game Pokémon Go is the latest example of why to be careful about private information. The augmented reality title can access one’s smartphone camera, location data, and Google accounts information.
From password managers to ad blockers, here are a few ways of improving online security and protecting web privacy.
Use a password manager
For those who use the same password for all websites or extremely simple ones, to say the least, like “123456” or “password,” turning to password managers is the smart move.
These type of programs generate and store strong passwords, remembers them for users, alerts when there are duplicates and requests to change old passwords to avoid accounts from getting breached.
Back in February, Dashlane became the first password manager to support FIDO Alliance’s Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication standard. Dashlane is also working with Google on the OpenYOLO project.
Two-factor authentication requires users to enter a code, generated by an app on their smartphone, sent via text message, and the account password. It ensures that even if hackers get the password, they won’t be able to break into the account.
Go beyond passwords
Set websites to ask security questions, use biometrics like a fingerprint or even a voiceprint may also be useful alternatives. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple allow this features. Online security tester turnon2fa.com checks if websites have it and guide users for them to set it up.
Remember Google’s Project Abacus expects to replace passwords with biometrics by the end of the year so it could be the future of online security.
Subscribe to a VPN
Think twice before connecting to a public Wi-Fi network to do online banking or check the email because data becomes even more vulnerable to hacking.
Last month, cyber-security firm Bastille Research discovered that wireless keyboards made by eight different companies are vulnerable to attacks from hackers. The vulnerability allows hackers to monitor keystrokes from up to 250 feet away with minimal effort.
It’s for the best to keep sensitive information away from cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. Saving it on the computer and phone should be enough. But with encryption software Boxcryptor users can encode the data before sending it to the cloud for storage.
Malware and ads are thick as thieves. For that reason and to avoid unpleasant experiences like ransomware users should use ad-blockers. Ads from the loneliest site on the net to The New York Times and the BBC can distribute malware.
Ransomware is a version of malware that keeps the system hostage, and the only way to access is with the password the attacker provides once the victim pays, hence the name.
In July, a website called NoMoreRansom was launched by Europol, tech giant Intel, security expert Kaspersky Lab, and the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) to fight ransomware.
For a list of the best ad-blockers out there click here.