We want to have secure passwords but there are SO MANY to keep track of! Some services want a password with 8 letters or numbers, one special character, one capital, etc. Others, something different. To keep track of all of them, many of us write them down, immediately making your online life less secure should that list fall into the wrong hands, or get lost. How can this be made more manageable? The following steps do not take too much effort, but it is effort well spent.
First, there are a few key rules regarding best practice.
1. Your email password should be unique, and changed fairly regularly.
By unique, we mean do not use this password for anything else. This is because your email is how most of your password reset/lost password requests are handled. If any one of your services suffer a cyber attack, usernames, passwords, and email addresses are frequently revealed to the hackers. The first thing they will try is to log into your email with the same password, and viola, they are in! Do NOT allow your browser save this password.
2. Banking or any real money accounts (Paypal, iTunes, Trademe) passwords should also be unique, and changed regularly.
Do NOT allow your browser to save these passwords.
3. For websites that need not be secure, have a bank of about 3 easily remembered passwords to use, depending on complexity required.
These passwords can be safely remembered by your browser too, and if you log into your browser, these passwords will sync on all the devices you use. To make this password most adaptable to various password requirements, include a special character, a number, and a capital letter.
How will you remember all these passwords? Choose a theme, and then substitute certain letters for numbers and symbols, and keep it consistent so you can remember it.
Perhaps your email/banking passwords will be childhood friends or the schools you attended. Or your favourite national parks, or native birds, a stratigraphic section of rocks, or recipe titles+page numbers from your favourite recipe book. Do the same for your other passwords, but make sure none of your "themes" are available in online databases. Google yourself, make sure you see what others can easily see about you. Don't use any of that information in your passwords.
If you plan well, you can operate safely online with only three passwords to remember at any one time.
For the websites that require special characters, always use the same one and perhaps add it to the end of your usual password.
And remember, cybercrime is only going to get worse over time, and the better you manage your passwords, the safer your information will be.
Find more about saving your passwords in browsers here.
Gone are the days of having one computer in the home or office. Many of us now have smart phones, tablets such as iPads, and a laptop or two. Each is capable of delivering your email and displaying your documents, and "the cloud" is the best way to accomplish this. Once your data is in the cloud, it is backed up automatically, and follows you on all your devices. Adding a new device is as easy as logging into your cloud account. No need to transfer files and export address books ever again! AND it doesn't matter what operating system your new device uses, all you need are the browser or apps for your cloud provider and away you go.
Most of our computing now happens within an internet browser. Browsers are in the cloud now too- most allow you to log into the browser, and this allows all your browser settings to synchronise settings on all your devices. For example, now I am logged into Chrome on my Macbook, but when I move to my office desktop computer (with Windows) to do some serious work, in the Chrome browser I will have all my favourites, bookmarks, saved passwords, just as I left them on my laptop.
There are many cloud service providers, the most prominent are Google (Google Apps which has just been rebranded G Suite), Apple (iCloud), and Microsoft (Office 365). And they all work on all your devices, regardless of operating system! Welly IT Solutions works with all these services, but our clear favourite in terms of cost, storage capacity, and features is currently Google's G Suite and the Chrome browser. iCloud has recently been updated but it is still not as seamless to use as Google. Office 365 is a fine service but requires a subscription. The other two are free for basic uses.
When you're ready to make the move, or if you have questions or concerns, just give us a call on 0274916411. We will discuss your particular situation and come up with a plan that best suits your needs.
Short answer: no. There are many free and very effective antivirus solutions for your devices, no matter what operating system you use. (see links below)
However, there are some caveats to that answer. If you have household members or office staff that are known to have fearless or even careless browsing habits, you may want to consider protecting your devices with more robust defences. The full internet security suites have additional safety features that may better protect your devices from a wider array of threats. It is also advised to educate your users on safe computing habits, because even the best internet security is not foolproof. Netsafe is an excellent resource to learn more about internet safety.
If your broadband provider is Spark, as a fantastic benefit for their customers, you are able to install the McAfee Internet Security Suite (worth $95/license year) on up to 5 devices. Click here for more information.
Welly IT Solutions can recommend the following free antivirus solutions:
Avast (MacOS, Windows, Android)
AVG for PCs (Windows)
AVG for Mac: Download