Millions of Canadians begin their day by logging onto an Internet-connected device. They’re exchanging email and following social media, news feeds, or the weather. They’re ordering merchandise online, researching for school and fun, banking and paying bills, texting, listening to music, watching TV programs and viewing movies. Yet for all the time spent with this amazingly wonderful technology, most Canadians spend a miniscule amount of time protecting cyber activity from cyber scammers and thieves.
One key security practice that’s relatively simple to implement is two-step authentication. This is an important security feature of many social media accounts, online shopping portals, online banking, webmail, and more. It adds an extra level of protection for online accounts, beyond username and password protection, boosting security from cyber threats.
To set up two-step authentication, you provide the service with an alternate way to contact you for security purposes. For example, something you know (PIN or password), something you have (phone or fob), something you are (fingerprint or voice recognition).
This extra protection activates when you access your account from a device other than the one you primarily use. If you indicated your cell phone as a secondary contact method, the service will text or call your phone with a unique code that you enter before you can access the service from the new device.
But don’t stop here. Employ these additional cyber tips for extra protection so vital to living safely online.
Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
Make sure every computer you use has antivirus software and antispyware and that updates are made regularly.
Secure your networks
If you use a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router.
Learn about cyber threats
Stay well informed about how to post online in ways that do not reveal your private information.
Use strong passwords and change them often
And also implement multifactor authentication described earlier in this article.
Employ best practices on your debit and credit cards
You may have security obligations related to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and, if possible, use different computers to process payments and surf the Internet.
Make backup copies of personal data and information
Regularly backup the data on all your computers.
Control physical access to computers and network components
Prevent unauthorized access to personal computers by other individuals. Laptops are particularly easy targets for theft and they can also be lost, so password protect them.
Create your mobile device action plan
Mobile devices pose significant security challenges. Password protect these devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while your phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.