How to Secure Your Online Accounts: The Ultimate Checklist

In the world where cyber criminals are earning in millions by hacking bank accounts, there are some basic precautions that digital banking users can take. Know these simple tips you must follow to keep yourself as safe as possible from online fraud and hacking.

Everyone who uses digital devices has a stake in cybersecurity. Knowing the basics is the only way to stay protected against a myriad of online dangers. But there's often so much to keep track of that many people tend to miss a thing here and there.

How to avoid having a security flaw that others can exploit? Go through this ultimate online security checklist.

Device Security

✅Set Up a Lock Screen

Criminals don't access online accounts only through fraud or hacking tools. They also get access to them whenever they steal a phone. Most people don't log out of their accounts when they are not using them.

Not only does it make it easy for hackers to access any app or logged-in account, but also to steal passwords and files. It's for this and many other reasons that people should have a lock screen set up on their device. Most Android and iOS devices enable many lock screen options.

✅Enable Biometric Authentication

One of the most secure forms of verifying user's identity is biometric authentication. Most mid-tier and high-end smartphones come with biometric fingerprint scanners these days, making it easy to set up. It is a fast and straightforward way to secure a phone. Plus, it's not the same as a password or code — no one can guess or steal it. For more information click here:

✅Set Up a Device Password

Like setting up a lock screen on a mobile device, it's also essential to set up a password for other devices. Computers and laptops store a lot of personal data.

Moreover, most people stay logged into their accounts on these devices. If they get stolen, you'll have a massive headache to change passwords for all your online accounts. It's also easy to forget about one or two accounts, giving the thief unfettered access to them.

✅Back Data Up On a Secure Cloud Server

Keep data stored on a cloud server rather than having it all on a device. You can back up anything from photos, videos, messages, and emails to work files to a cloud server. Once the data is there, you can delete them from the device (especially if they aren't using them every day). That way, criminals won't access your data in case the device is compromised with malware and viruses.

✅Add the HTTPS Everywhere Extension on PCs

Not every website is as security-focused as it should be. A website that doesn't have an SSL certificate will use HTTP, which isn't secure at all. It allows hackers with the right tools to steal information.

Most websites use HTTPS these days. It encrypts traffic and keeps hackers out. But not every site enables it by default. The HTTPS Everywhere extension forces any websites which allow HTTPS to switch to an encrypted connection automatically.

Password Security

✅Create Strong and Unique Passwords

Pretty much everyone's guilty of using weak passwords or reusing old ones. After all these years, the most popular passwords are still easy to guess. They include phrases like "password" and "qwerty." Hackers know and love it. It makes it easy to guess or brute force account login details.

The other problem is data breaches. So many have occurred over the past few years that billions of login details are swirling around the internet. When people reuse their passwords, they're putting themselves in a lot of risks. Hackers can use their stolen credentials to access their other accounts.

Always set up a unique password phrase of no fewer than 12 characters. Make sure it includes a couple of words, for example, "I like toast." Also, spice it up with numbers and special characters. Your result could be something like this: I(Like)8Toast@.

✅Set Up Two-Factor Authentication on All Accounts

Two-factor authentication is the next natural step for securing any account after setting it up and creating a password. Most online services and platforms have two-factor authentication settings available these days. And there are apps for those that don't.

When you enable two-factor authentication, you will get an additional pin or code to another account, app, or device when logging in. It depends on how you set it up. Either way, it is a crucial step because it keeps accounts safe even if a hacker has stolen or guessed your password. If they don't have access to the device or account, then they can't get the pin and log in.

✅Download a Password Manager

Password managers can be real life-safer. While they aren't 100% necessary, they're still a great idea. The purpose of a password manager is to store the passwords of online accounts in an encrypted form. The owner of the password manager can then access their credentials with a master password or let the software auto-fill them online.

But if you use a password manager, make sure your master password is the safest piece of information you have. Make it at least 16 characters long, keep it somewhere safe, and never use it anywhere else. Some password managers also have a function for you to use 2FA and biometric fingerprint to unlock your vault — make use of it.

Social Media Privacy and Safety

✅Review Privacy Settings on Social Media Accounts

Social media is one of the worst offenders when it comes to personal privacy and security. Leaving those accounts unchecked can be damaging in the long run, so make sure to adjust the settings.

You should set your accounts to private where possible. Then opting out of any data sharing options is a must. Take time to go through the privacy and security settings of every social media account. Disable any unnecessary or invasive settings.

✅Don't Overshare on Social Media

Scammers and hackers are always prowling through social media accounts to gather information about potential victims. They can use what they find in various ways — for stalking, identity theft, or finding answers to security questions. Don't share any personal information that hackers would be able to use against you.
Secure Applications and Accounts

✅Delete Old Accounts, Apps and Software

You can often find a whole graveyard of old apps installed on smartphones or computers. These pose a threat because hackers can use them as potential backdoors to get into a device.

Old and unused online accounts present similar risks. An account doesn't go away when someone creates one and forgets about it. Criminals can still hack or compromise those accounts in data breaches. The best policy is to go through apps and online accounts every few months and delete or deactivate unused ones.

✅Make Sure Applications & Systems Are Up to Date

All operating systems like Windows and Android, as well as apps and software, get updates from time to time. These updates usually contain security fixes. Thus, they are a central part of keeping hackers from stealing info off the apps or getting into devices. So make sure to download and install updates as soon as they are available.

The Bottom Line

As this list proves, keeping online accounts secure doesn't have to be hard or even a lot of work. You need to take many of these steps only once, and many others should repeat every few months or so. Being secure doesn't have to come down to wearing a tinfoil hat. Even covering the basics provides a decent level of security.


Guest Author: Aadarsh Roy20 Mar 2020

Hey Techulator,
Great post with effective tips secure an online account. I really like the tips that you have suggested to protect online accounts.

As we know that hackers & cyber criminals are growing rapidly, hence it is really crucial to safeguard and secure our online account. Setup a lock screen and enabling biometric authentication will be helpful. It is really essential to keep a strong and unique password to secure our online accounts. Downloading a password manager will be helpful. Deleting old accounts, software & apps are also essential.

Adopting these tips will be helpful to secure an online account.
Truly helpful post and thanks for sharing.

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