Tech Tuesday: Online Security

Given the number of high profile data hacks that we hear about almost every day, using two factor authentication (2FA) is no longer just an “option”.  Its a requirement if you are serious about your security online.

What got me thinking of this was an article I read, showing that even security professionals are getting caught out by simply forgetting to keep up with today’s best practices in online security.  The modern “best practice” they forgot to use was 2 Factor Authentication (2FA).  If they hadn’t forgotten to use 2FA on their DNS account the whole hack would never have worked.  I’ve linked to the article at the end of this post.

2FA is a way of adding additional security on your online account. The first “factor” is your usual “password”.  In the modern world we live in, your “password” can actually be your thumb print, a retina scan, a specific speech pattern or even facial recognition data.  Any of these things can be used as the first factor for proving your rights to access the online account. 

The second factor in this scenario is an ever-changing random code that is retrieved from an external device.  The most common devices today for generating these codes are smartphones.  These used to be stand alone devices referred to as token generators.  The technical name for this 2FA methodology is “Time-based One-time Password Algorithm”.

There’s An App For It

You don’t have to be a security professional, or even have a computer science degree to do this stuff.  Because there’s an app for it.  It doesn’t matter what device you use, Apple, Android, Blackberry, Microsoft, whatever…

I suggest you use the Google Authenticator app.  Its what I use as my 2FA method on all of my personal and business online resources. Like any other app it is super-easy to install on any smartphone or tablet.

picture of Google Authenticator app in app store

The app creates an ever-changing random code that is used to verify your identity when you log into various online resources.

Worried that you might have your device stolen or lose it? 

Don’t worry, someone else thought of that too.  Most online services also let you print out or download “emergency codes/tokens” that you can use if you should lose your smartphone or tablet.  Just be sure to keep them somewhere safe, like in a real safe, or a safety deposit box.

picture of a closed bank vault door

In Conclusion

If your online service doesn’t offer 2FA sign on, I honestly recommend you stop using that service.

If you want to get the Google Authenticator app for yourself, search your app store for “Google Authenticator” or use the links below.

For Android devices go to:
Android Google Authenticator

For iOS devices go to:
iOS Google Authenticator

The article that got this post started:  Hackers take control of security firm’s domain, steal secret data.

I Am Here to Help You

As your consultant and trusted adviser I go a step further and actually show you simple ways you can tune your online marketing and real world use of technology for noticeably better results.

I give you as much education as possible to help you do what you want without having to come back to me for help.  Yet, I am always happy to help anytime you decide you want further assistance and advice.

Call us at (319) 247-0225 or email via our Contact Page if you would like help growing your organization, becoming more efficient and productive.

Business Technology

Every week I am recommending, repairing, installing software and setting up computers; replacing old school Microsoft servers with dramatically less expensive and easier to use modern NAS devices; designing, installing and maintaining office and campus-wide wired and wireless networks.

Online Marketing

I also create easy to use and proven to be effective websites and comprehensive online marketing strategies and campaigns.  I setup and integrate your website with online social media accounts like Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and many others.

I make it easy for your to get the word out, websites I build often have built-in automated Email Newsletters and can automatically post new articles to your social media accounts, saving you time and increasing your exposure and engagement with new and existing clients.

Experienced Advice

With over 25+ years of consulting and providing solid service and support I can help you with numerous behind the scenes things that will improve your processes, increase efficiency for your organization, increase your audience, and generate more leads and engagement.

Let Me Help You Grow

Whether you are a non-profit organization or a business, one person or 100 people, Market Street can improve your existing use of technology resources, website and social media presence and get them working together in harmony.

Our online marketing management services, in-depth training, coaching and comprehensive real-world strategic technology consulting is proven to help you work smarter, not harder.

Contact me — if you want to work smarter and grow faster.