Using Multi-Factor Authentication
Arguably the most effective thing you can do to protect your online accounts is to enable multi-factor or two-factor authentication for as many of your accounts as possible. This method uses a secondary message next to your password, usually a code generated by the application or sent via SMS. This secondary message helps prove that you are the person trying to log in, as passwords are often obtained from the phone in your pocket. Even if your password is easy to guess (more on this soon), it’s unlikely that an attacker will be able to gain access to an account with multi-factor authentication enabled, unless they have your phone.
Install anti-virus software
Computer viruses and malware are everywhere. anti-virus software such as Bitdefender, Panda Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes and Avast can protect your operating system from unauthorized code or software threats to your computer. Viruses can have easily detectable effects – for example, they can slow down your computer or delete critical files – or they can be less obvious.
Use passwords, lock codes or encryption
Make sure your passwords are at least 8 characters long, have a combination of upper and lower case letters, and include numbers or other characters, and never use the password autocomplete feature. You can use your phone’s storage encryption feature to protect your personal data and set the screen to turn off in 5 minutes or less.
Clean your computer manually
There are some advanced types of malware that cannot be detected by security/firewall software. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor your device manually to prevent vulnerabilities. Check your C: drive regularly, especially things like C:/Program Files, C:/Program Files (x86) and all TEMP folders. Also, monitor the “Downloads” folder. If you find unusual items that have not been downloaded, search for them online. If these files are not useful or are associated with malicious activity, delete them.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi
If you are at a cafe or restaurant, do not share public information if you decide to use their Wi-Fi. Whatever you do, don’t think about buying a plane ticket or checking your bank account while you’re there. Hotels and convention centers are also not secure. In fact, these networks are often prime targets for hackers because of the amount of traffic they receive. Hackers have found clever ways to sneak in undetected, so there’s no way to know if your data has been compromised when using hotel Wi-Fi.