3 Things to Do to Make Your Internet Life More Secure

The Internet is a maze. It is full of hackers, wannabes, and thieves. As a user, we have to do everything we need to do to take care of our privacy and security. Sure, many of us use some sort of antivirus and firewall solutions, but these precautions are not enough when you are wandering through the Internet. The good thing is making your Internet life more secure is relatively easy. Here are the top three things that you should follow to make your Internet life more secure and sound.

Most of our online accounts like email accounts and social accounts contain a lot of personal and confidential information. While these accounts are protected by the passwords, we all know that passwords can be easily cracked and are no longer secure. Two factor authentication is what you need. What it essentially does is provides an additional layer of security by asking for more than a password, e.g. a time-based code sent to your mobile device or generated by your mobile device.

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Without that extra code, you just cannot log in to your online account even if you have the actual password. Fortunately, most of the online services like Google, Facebook, LastPass, Amazon, etc., have already introduced this feature. Moreover, setting up the two factor authentication on any online service doesn’t require more than ten minutes. So always enable two factor authentication wherever possible. Many of you may think of this feature as noting but annoyance, but it is worth enabling to protect your privacy.

Surfing the Internet through a public and unsecure WiFi is the most common thing these days. Who doesn’t love a free Internet connection? The problem is these un-secure Internet connections are prone to privacy issues because it is easy to grab sensitive data over a network. To bolster your security, you can always use a VPN. What a VPN (Virtual Private Network) essentially does is that it will encrypt all the incoming and outgoing connections over a public network (Internet). Because all the connections are encrypted, it is hard for anyone to snoop on your Internet activity.

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There are lots of free and paid VPN services out there on the Internet. Just subscribe to one of those service’s and use them whenever and wherever possible (like coffee shops, cafes, etc.) to make your Internet activity more secure and sound.

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Most of us have more than ten different online accounts, and it is only natural that we tend to use easy-to-remember passwords to avoid forgetting them from time to time. But sometimes, these easy-to-remember passwords are also easy to guess and this leads to hacking and stealing stuff. There comes the role of password managers as they can help you generate some easy to remember yet hard to guess passwords while locking them behind a master password. When using password managers, all you have to do is remember a single password. Moreover, most of the password managers like KeePass, LastPass, etc., support multiple platforms so that you will have all your passwords at your fingertips.

Just like anything, Internet privacy and security is as strong as its weakest link and in this case the weakest link is just “us.” So always be aware of your online presence and do whatever you can to secure your privacy and security.

Image crdit: Security concept: Key and Cyber Security on computer keyboard ba by BigStockPhoto

12 comments

  1. For one thing, passwords are only as weak as the person who is creating them. The fact is we all know that passwords like “Sparkle! & 123456” are easily cracked. If you knew anything about why passwords are easily hacked you would not be making the amateur comment saying “we all know that passwords can be easily cracked and are no longer secure”. If you use the proper techniques you can create passwords that are easy to remember but nearly impossible to crack. In fact it was proven years ago that if you use a password properly even though ANY password can be cracked it could take a hacker on average 10,000 years to find the right combination.

    As is typical of the maketecheasier website we have yet one more author who is about as smart as the people they are trying to educate. I am getting the feeling more and more each day that it is you MTE authors that answer the crackpot questions that are asked on Yahoo answers, and no that was not a compliment.

    • Hi there Kevin, thanks for your opinion.

      When I say “passwords are no longer secure”, I’m talking about general internet users (who make up the majority of the internet) who won’t bother to create or don’t know how to create secure passwords.

      Moreover, brute force attacks or guess works are not the only way to hack or crack passwords. Crackers use different methods like phishing, social engineering, etc. In those cases, two-step authentication provides an extra layer of security.

  2. Vamsi, good clear article in my humble opinion. Your polite response to Kevin also shows restraint and professionalism. Well done. My response to Kevin is this, get off you high horse. This article isn’t necessarily aimed a you but the average reader who needs to be warned of these ‘failings’ and possible corrective actions. I suggest you comment on articles aimed a your level of internet experience not those for ‘beginners’. Let’s hear how smart you are when commenting on the work of your peers.

    • An average person that makes passwords that dumb isn’t reading or searching for these articles, which at this point are more like copy and paste than anything else as there’s so many of them all saying the same thing.

      And password managers “can help you generate some easy to remember yet hard to guess passwords”. That phrase doesn’t even make any sense.

    • I would like to point out that the very first thing that you should do is use a password generator. Unless a site places restrictions on your choices, and realizing that you obviously can’t use \ or : etc. make your password a minimum of 12 characters according to the gurus, I prefer 14. No matter what don’t store the passwords on your hard drive, unencrypted or encrypted. Store them on a flash drive and then make two copies of that flash drive. I have an old computer that IS NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET and all password generation and storage is done on that. Then I print it on an old printer that is compatible with that old computer. The only problem with this is that when you enter passwords, if some evil-doer(s) has installed a keylogger on your computer(s), he/she/they will get the passwords as you type. But if your security is that weak, you have a lot more problems than passwords.

  3. How safe are we when if the password managers gets cracked and hacked? I’m sure they have a lot of extra security and safeguards, but if they’re compromised, it’d be like handing someone the master skeleton key to the kingdom.

    • If you don’t trust online password managers like LastPass, then you can use offline password managers like KeePass. KeePass is an open source project and stores all your passwords locally in a secure and encrypted database.

  4. To avoid others guessing guessing passwords, don’t make up passwords out of your head.. Use one of the random password generators listed at http://mindprod.com/applet/password.html

    Passwords are inherently insecure because they rely on the server keeping secrets. Hackers love discovering secrets. Certificates are a sort of super password that does not rely on the server keeping any secrets.There is nothing for the hacker to hack. The military uses CAC cards which are certificate based. It is not rocket science. I don’t know why we persist with such obsolete authentication technology.

    The time-based codes also rely on the server keeping secrets, so they are not much more reliable than a password.

  5. ? Comment about keyloggers. If i use the on screen keyboard can the keelogger still capture the entry>

  6. My Internet passwords have two parts. Part 1 is a random group of letters and numbers I have memorized that I use on every website. Part 2 is a random group of letters that is different for each website. I keep the Part 2 passwords in a safe place.

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