I had a plan to write this Part 2 of my Online Security Practices series over this coming weekend. However, due to the blockbuster Compumatrix announcement last night, I was inspired by a great sense of urgency to write this and publish it immediately! Another all-nighter for the sake of the Compumatrix family was a small price to pay.
The reader comments regarding my announcement that I would be publishing a series of blog articles about Online Security Practices stunned me. They were enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive! I am pleased to know that readers are so interested in this subject. I have plenty of information to share that will benefit anyone who uses it. My challenge is to present it in a way that won’t overwhelm readers. I’ve given it plenty of thought in the last 24 hours. I’ve decided to start the series with an overview of the tools and practices that I recommend. That will provide a stepping stones path that will lead You in the direction I’m going in with the series.
I think that may provide enough direction for some to take immediate action in areas where they recognize they are deficient. Others may choose to wait until I publish more information before taking action. That is a personal choice for each person to make, based on where they already are with their Online Security Practices. I realize that everyone is different and that a “one size fits all” approach is not the best way to go.
I need to be clear that I don’t know everything there is to know about Online Security. I have the practical experience of paying close attention to online security tools since getting my first laptop and PC in 1994. I learn more every year because I am motivated by the knowledge that technical threats, scams, and hackers increase every year.
I don’t want to be a victim of any of those! I have found that many people feel the same way, but they have not kept up with the security tools available. I have noticed that even when people are aware of security tools that can lower their risk, they don’t always use them.
I don’t have magic powers that will make people do what they should do. I will, however, present the information I have. If it is applied correctly, it will lower someone’s risk of being hacked. It is up to each person to take responsibility for their own Online Security and use the information I provide or find similar information.
The following tools and practices have my highest recommendation. I will provide additional details on each of the security tools on future posts in this series.
- Install and use the Brave Browser on all computers and mobile devices to increase privacy and block annoying ads.
- Use the DuckDuckGo search engine. Set it up to be your default search engine on your Brave browser. Do the same on any other browser that provides that option in the Settings. No more “I’ll Google it,” because from now on, “I’ll DuckDuckGo it”!
- Use the Private Window mode, or the Private Window with TOR mode, whenever you don’t want your browser to keep track of your browsing history. You can select those options in the Brave browser settings. This practice adds another layer of privacy for you.
- Use a highly rated reputable Virtual Private Network, commonly called a VPN. Install it on all computers and mobile devices. A VPN will increase privacy and block annoying ads.
- Use a paid version (if possible) of a highly rated reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware software and keep them up to date. Scan your computers several times per week or daily, if possible. Most of these programs have a scheduler option. That will scan your computer automatically, according to the schedule you set up.
- Use a paid version (if possible) of a highly rated reputable Password Manager. Do not trust browsers to hold your passwords. Use long, complex passwords with numbers and an upper case, lower case, and at least one unique character. You only need to remember ONE password. That one password goes to your Password Manager! Never use the same password for more than one account.
- Use Anti-Keylogger software. It is a software specially designed to detect keystroke logger software. It will delete or immobilize hidden keystroke logger software that may be on your computer.
- Do not download attachments in emails from people you don’t know. Use your head and be suspicious of emails that make offers that sound too good. Do not click on links in emails or text messages from people you don’t know. If you do, your computer or mobile device may get a dangerous virus.
- ALWAYS use Two Factor Authentication, also known as “2FA,”, on any account that offers that option.
- NEVER connect your phone, laptop, or other mobile devices to Public WiFi unless you have your VPN turned on. The VPN will keep you safe.
- ALWAYS sign out of accounts when you finish with them. Do not close the tab or window until you have signed out of any account.
- NEVER store more than $100.00 to $200.00 worth of your cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange. Use a combination of secure hot wallets and cold storage wallets, for which You own the Private Keys. Remember, “Not your keys, Not your coins!” Andreas Antonopoulos
- NEVER place your Private Keys or Recovery Phrases from your wallets ON your computer. That includes not taking ANY screenshots or pictures of them either. Use external Thumb Drives and paper to store them OFFLINE ONLY.
- For your DEX accounts, ALWAYS use multiple external Thumb Drives and paper to store your account Passwords and Private Keys OFFLINE ONLY. Use a MINIMUM of three Thumb Drives dedicated for this purpose. Consider storing them in separate locations.
- Backup your Thumb Drives regularly. I recommend doing that a minimum of four times per year.
I know that is a long list of things to do! I realize that it will be very inconvenient for everyone to do everything listed. Nevertheless, I’m comforted by the fact that I forewarned you with the title of my Online Security Series. Lol, But you can wear your best non-slip shoes and carefully walk across the stepping stones path that I have laid out for you. Eventually, you will find yourself in the shallows of a deep river of online security risks!
I plan to write and publish Part 3 within a week from today. Thank you for your time and your attention to this essential and valuable information.
“Good Security is inconvenient,
but Great security is very inconvenient, yet not nearly as inconvenient as getting hacked.”
(Kevin Bowser – 2015)
Disclaimer: The data provided in the above blog article is for general education purposes only. The data presented is only the author’s opinion, who holds no licenses or degrees in Online Security. The data contains NO GUARANTEES, actual or implied, against possibly being hacked. It is impossible to achieve a 100% risk-free online presence, regardless of what combination of Online Security Tools someone chooses to use or what Online Security Practices they decide to follow. Following the recommendations above is done only at your own risk. By choosing to follow the suggestions in the above article, you agree that neither the author nor Compumatrix or WordPress has, or shares, any responsibility if you get hacked as a result.