Digital Security

It’s really nice to know and realise that most established digital and online companies and services are seriously considering and putting good security measures in place.

Lately I’ve heard a lot of stories about several separate instances when iPhones or iPads were recovered because of their “Find my iPhone” feature. I have the same installed on my iPhone and iPad, and I’ve explored its capabilities, but luckily I have not personally needed to use it. But stories I’ve heard of stolen iPhones recovered because of this were really great to hear. There was even one story that the gadget was recovered a month after, and it was found with someone who already purchased the stolen phone.

Seeing a lot of online security in place is really great too. I know of a lot of yahoo mail accounts hacked all the time, and I’ve noticed how poorly they have their security and spam filters in place. Several friends and colleagues have had problems with their yahoo accounts, sometimes even to the point of not being able to access their account again.

I am very happy with my gmail, which I’ve been using perhaps for almost a decade. They really have good spam filters and security in place. Just today, it asked me to verify my mobile account, supposedly so that it can prompt me just in case there are suspicious activities on my account. Also, did you know that you can check the details of all your login activity for the account? They are able to track and report which gadgets and browsers you have used, which area (country) the access was done, and when.

Facebook security is good too. They have security measures in place that send alerts to your email when your account is accessed through a new device, or if your password has been entered incorrectly several times. Alerts are a good way of providing security. I’ve seen this on several online services I’ve tried, and it is really useful because you are made aware immediately if there is a possible security breach in your account, and it may be possible to do something about it at once.

Have you noticed that a lot of online services are now requiring stronger passwords with a combination of numbers, and letters in both uppercase and lowercase? This is important because this proposed combination makes it more difficult for (ro)bots to try and decode your passwords, because this increases the number of possible combinations perhaps a hundred thousand times (not sure about the actual number right now, so don’t quote me on this). It’s challenging though to have several different passwords for our so many different accounts online. It’s also a little bit insecure to have a list of these passwords somewhere (because of the risk that someone might find it). My personal solution to this challenge is to have a “family” or “families” of passwords, which are interrelated. They are usually sentences or phrases, sometimes revolving around some themes. This is helpful because even if you forget your actual password, you only have a small personal collection of possible combinations based on these. Don’t make your themes too obvious though for people who know you.

One more thing on passwords. Make sure that your computer password/s are far different from all your other passwords online. This is just my personal take, and the reason behind this is because there may be instances when you will need to have someone else (a friend, family member, or relative) access your device and you have to give the password. At least you will have the confidence to give your password without revealing all other passwords in your digital life. Actually for me, my sister knows my personal laptop and desktop login passwords, I trust her and she can access it anytime. My password for my work laptop is different, and I am ready to share this to colleagues if needed (e.g. if I am on leave and they need to get important files from my device).

It is good to know, be aware of, and be familiar with these different online and digital security measures so that we can protect our valuable accounts, information, and property.

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