Saturday, November 28, 2015

Safe and secure online holiday shopping

To remind you in staying safe online and prevent becoming a victim of a 'no-delivery' scam, listen to this 1-minute podcast from the FBI:

Online Holiday Shopping

Never click links in pop-up ads. Ever!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Are you using two-factor authentication to secure your banking credentials?

What is "2FA" in geek speak? It stands for two-factor authentication, which is a fancy way of saying that your successful login to a computer system is dependent upon two separate things from any of these categories:

  • Something you know, like a password.
  • Something you have, like a cell phone.
  • Something you are, like a fingerprint or heart beat.

If your login credentials require only user name and password, that's called single factor authentication because there is generally only one unknown in that combination: your password. User names are rarely hard to guess.

But passwords are made to be broken. If you're not using a very strong or really long password, your credentials can be easily cracked and your bank account wiped out. (See earlier posting How do I create a strong password?)

The best protection you can get is to use multiple authentication methods to gain access to your sensitive web-based accounts. If your web site provider offers 2FA, turn it on. It's something you'll have to enable on the site, but figuring out how to do that is easy thanks to Turn it On: The Ultimate Guide to 2FA, which provides instructions for many (but not all) sites that offer 2FA. 

Try it out. Navigate to Turn it On, then type "Google" in the search box and press the Enter key on your keyboard. If the Turn it On web page doesn't have instructions for the site you're looking for, just check with your web site provider. 

Go to your banking web site today and turn on 2FA. Don't wait!

For more information, see

How Not To Be Hacked: The Definitive Guide for Regular People

Earlier this week, my boss told me of a special speaker coming to our office soon: consultant, author and fellow Atlanta resident James J. Deluccia, IV. My boss then handed me a signed copy of James' newly released book, called How Not to be Hacked: The Definitive Guide for Regular People.

The book is a quick and easy read. James shares the most essential tips for keeping your data and your family safe and secure online.

On pp. 141-144 of the book is a nicely summarized list of all the tips that James has to offer to regular folk who are not security experts or don't do this stuff for a living.

One of those tips is about using two-factor authentication for every online account you access that involves your money. This includes banking web sites, credit card account logins, retirement account web sites (frequently accessed through your employer benefits portal), bill payers, online retailers who have your credit card number, homeowners association (HOA) sites where you pay your dues, online brokerage firms, your pet insurance seller, or any web-based site where you are moving money. And that is exactly the topic of my next posting.

James' book already has a unanimous 5-star rating on Amazon and is available for just $12.99. This is a great gift for anyone and everyone you know who has a computer, tablet or mobile phone. 

A perfect Christmas gift for someone you love! If you read the book, please post your comments here. I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Are you cyber aware?

October was cyber security awareness month, but every month is security awareness month at (SANS) Securing the Human.

Stay on top of what's happening in cyber and how to protect yourself and your family online with free resources. Here are three popular resources to bookmark or download:

Remember to visit Securing the Human year-round to access dozens of tools, videos, and articles all related to security awareness. You don't have to be part of an organization or corporation to take advantage - these resources are for everyone!