Most of us spend a significant amount of time on the Internet. Be it through our smartphones, tablets or computers, the Internet is something which we simply cannot live without. From our social networks to our personal and professional emails and even our bank accounts, today everything is available on the Internet.
However, a lot of us tend to get clueless when we talk about online security. To begin with, we must understand what exactly is online security? For beginners, it is the security of their data, which they share with various people or organisations over the internet.
The internet provides access to a host of products and services, entertainment and information. But at the same time, it also makes opportunities for scammers and hackers who can potentially use our personal data which has been put up online.
Earlier this year, Google in its blog post, came up with five key steps through which one can keep their data safe online. Let us have a look at them:
Set up a recovery phone number or email address
For many services on the internet, having a recovery method can be helpful for alerting you if there is any suspicious activity on your account or if you require to block someone from using your account without permission. Adding recovery information to your account also helps you get your account back more quickly if you ever lose access or unable to sign in.
Unique passwords for accounts
Google recommends using different passwords for different accounts. If we use the same password for multiple accounts we tend to have a higher risk of online scam or fraud. It is just like using the same key to lock your home, car and office – if one profile is compromised, then all others too run the same risk.
Google says creating a unique password for each account can eliminate this risk. A user must ensure that each password is hard to guess and at least eight characters long. And in case if it is too difficult to remember every password then the best way to cope with this is to write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place, since hackers are most likely to be online, rather than physically near you.
Keep your software up to date
To protect your online activity, Google suggests that you must ensure that you are running the latest version of a software or app since they generally come up to date with the latest bug fixes.
Some software such as Google Chrome automatically updates itself. Other apps and software send notifications as and when there is an update. You should ideally take time to install the update them.
Setting up two-factor authentication
Google recommends setting up two-factor authentication or two-step verification which significantly decreases the chances of unauthorized access to your account. Two-factor authentication requires you to take a second step each time you sign in to your account on top of your username and password.
Some examples of two-step verification include an SMS text message, a six-digit code generated by an app, a prompt that you receive on a trusted device or the use of a physical security key.
Google Security Checkup
For Google’s own account services, the company recommends using Google Security Checkup, which provides you details about the security recommendations that help you strengthen the security of your Google account, and takes very less time to complete.
Using Google’s Security Checkup not only helps in making your Google account safe but it also includes personalised tips from Google to keep your data safe across the internet. It provides helps you set up a screen lock on your smartphone and advises you to remove risky third-party sites and apps that have access to your account.