Start the new year off confidently with these tips while helping friends and loved ones elevate their privacy and personal security fast. Give the gift of peace-of-mind from this list of DOs and significantly raise the cost for criminals trying to make you, your friends or loved ones into victims of identity theft, fraud, or worse this season and beyond. Share this list and please do 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 a secret passphrase/word with your friends and loved ones, tell your kid it’s a-okay to check-in with a trusted grownup before sharing personal info with others right off-the-bat. Like our friend and colleague, Rachel Tobac, says, “Be politely paranoid.”
- DO use Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA) on all your accounts, especially email. Turn it on for your primary GMail account –> https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185839 or for SnapChat –> https://authy.com/guides/snapchat/, purchase Yubikeys if you’d like the best protection on the planet, use passkeys (free) –> soon we can say ‘goodbye’ to passwords and the old, insecure way of doing things, thanks to the rise of FIDO2, the evolution of hardware security keys and passkeys.
- DO triple-verify wallet addresses, recipients, etc. before sending any digital assets to anyone.
- DO keep your devices’ software up-to-date (especially your new Smart TV – here’s a handy guide for that), any other “smart” devices you own, and your mobile os/apps (most important).
- DO keep the apps and services on your devices to a minimum, uninstall stuff you never/rarely use, and consider turning devices OFF when not in use.
- DO purchase goods and services from sellers you trust. If it looks too good to be true, it is.
- DO give yourself (and others) the gift of a passphrase/word 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/autopay statements for small, errant charges (this costs consumers billions)
- DO slow down and be as present as you can be before responding to requests 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’re calm, cool, collected, and don’t fall for scams easily.
Happy New Year, stay safe out there.
Gratitude for the awesome gif in this post by Brandon Do.