Give yourself, your friends and loved ones peace-of-mind this year by following this list of DOs and raise the cost for criminals who are working hard to try and trick you into identity theft, fraud, and worse. Share this list and check it twice!
- DO trust but verify. Don’t believe everyone is who they say they are, especially if it’s urgent or out-of-the-ordinary. Share this idea with your kids that it’s a-okay to check with a trusted grownup before acknowledging a request for personal info right off-the-bat. As my friend and colleague, Rachel Tobac, likes to say, “Be politely paranoid.”
- DO use Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA) on all your accounts, especially email and social media. Turn it on for your primary GMail account –> https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185839 Turn it on for SnapChat –> https://authy.com/guides/snapchat/ for some examples and DO purchase Yubikeys as stocking stuffers and they’re the best protection on the planet.
- DO triple-verify wallet addresses, recipients, etc. before sending any digital assets to anyone anywhere!
- DO be sure to keep your devices’ software up-to-date (especially your new Smart TV – here’s a handy guide for that), any other “smart” devices you might own, and also the apps on your mobile devices to minimize your risks.
- DO uninstall stuff you don’t use. Keep the apps and services on your devices to a minimum and turn devices OFF when not in use.
- DO purchase goods and services only from sellers you know and trust. If it looks too good to be true, it is.
- DO give yourself (and others) the gift of a password manager to help you stay safe all year long and save a TON of TIME, too (Are you using the same password anywhere? You’ll regret that so change them so each is unique – do it now!)
- DO check credit card and autopay statements for small, errant charges that may not have been made by you.
- DO slow down and be as present as you can be before responding to requests, especially ones that feel even a little out-of-the-ordinary. Buy yourself some time and verify their story in the background while they wait. Criminals hate it when we don’t fall for scams.
Following tips like these improve your personal security fast. Start the new year off with more confidence : )
The awesome gif used in this post was made by Brandon Do.