Ways to Boost Your Digital Security

The life of a globally mobile person can be hectic — and losing access to email, social media, shopping accounts and other online services can quickly tip it into chaos. Here are three things you can do to substantially boost your digital security, and your peace of mind:

1. Use a password management service.

Experts advise online shoppers and Internet service users to select unique passwords that are long, random, and contain special characters — exactly the passwords that are easiest to lose or forget.

However, password management services such as Dashlane, LastPass, and KeePass put such passwords at your fingertips in a web browser, a smartphone app, or both. Users need only remember one master password in order to access their full unique, randomized, and special character-using password library.

2. Use two factor authentication.

Two factor authentication is a process in which a user uses an additional piece of information or technology to validate access. One well-known example is the Personal Identification Number (PIN) required for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.

With Internet services, two factor authentication often means that you are sent an alphanumeric code via email or SMS. This method also means that if someone attempts to access your account, you are the person who receives the authentication code. A wide variety of Internet services offer two factor authentication for their customers — a list, with additional details, is available at http://twofactorauth.org/.

3. Stay informed.

Sites such as Australia’s Scamwatch, the USA’s Scam Alerts, the UK’s Get Safe Online and Canada’s Online Fraud Centre can be invaluable for learning about new scams, new tactics, and new solutions. 

It is important not only to keep abreast of developments in fraud and in protection technology, but also your rights as a consumer. Econsumer.gov is a consumer protection initiative sponsored by 33 countries. You’ll find a list of consumer protection agencies around the globe here and news and information here.

Most of all, it’s important to remember that no security method is totally foolproof — and that this list is only the beginning. Vigilance is the most effective tool of all.

By Erin Fitzgerald – International Product Manager, Living Abroad