The Stark Reality of my Online Security

In reading about all the precautions that can be taken to secure one’s electronic devices and online accounts, I realize that I may have not taken all the extra steps necessary to ensure account security.  On my laptop, I have a timer set so that after 5 minutes of inactivity, I am logged out of my account, and a password is required to regain entry.  From my readings, I now realize that in order to really ensure that my computer cannot be accessed by the wrong person, I should have a “two-factor authentication” system in place.

In reflecting on all of my social media accounts, and the password protection I have, I am even more concerned about the privacy of these accounts. In addition to only having a one-step password requirement to gain access, many times I do not even have to do that.  Most of my accounts keep me logged-in until I intentionally log-out.  Certainly on my social media apps on my iPhone, I do not require a password to be used regularly.

Then for my iPhone itself, I have two different ways to unlock the phone, but they do not both have to be used concurrently.  I have finger print recognition set up and a four-digit pass code.  Last weekend on my way to Miami, my phone was stolen in Dulles airport.  Fortunately, I was able to contact Verizon immediately and have them disable my phone so that whomever had it could not access my personal information. Unfortunately, I had not backed up my pictures and data to the Cloud, so all of that was lost.  Now that I have a new phone, I intend on making sure my accounts are in-line and everything is set-up to back-up to the Cloud, so that in the event of my phone being lost or stolen again, I will not have to go through the burdensome process of re-establishing everything on my phone.  Since “cloud hacking” is in the news frequently (usually surrounding celebrities), I would need to ensure that my Cloud is also secure.  It’s convenient to have everything automatically backed-up to one place, until it is no longer safe.

After reading about all the dangers to our online life, and how easy it is to be hacked, I realize that I need to review my accounts and devices, and see where I can start establishing stricter password requirements to ensure my security.

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