3 Ways to Beef Up Your Digital Security This New Year

Digital Security Doesn’t Need to Detract From Modern Convenience

In the past few years, digital security has garnered increasing attention in the public eye. The Sony Pictures hack of late 2014 combined with Yahoo’s announcement of two major data breaches and the most recent revelation of Russian election meddling have left both consumers and government officials on edge. And just because the unanimously loathed 2016 (sorry Cubs) is finally kaput, that doesn’t mean 2017 will be any better for cybersecurity. In fact, security threats are only growing stronger as the days go on.

The expansion of typically unsecured Internet of Things devices only makes DDoS botnet attacks stronger and easier to initiate. The FBI will continue to demand backdoors to iPhones and other devices. Ransomware and phishing schemes are growing in sophistication. And our new president is already at odds with our central intelligence agency. With all of that in mind, the current state of cybersecurity affairs looks rather bleak.

Despite what you’re probably thinking, the purpose of this post isn’t to frighten you at the start of a new year. Instead, we want to implore you to take digital privacy seriously and to empower you with simple security resolutions. Hacking and cyberattacks are an inevitable part of our modern world, but it only takes a few easy measures to make your digital life a tad bit more secure. So don’t worry, you can still be just as hopeful about 2017.

On the surface, digital security measures might appear to be time-consuming and inconvenient. Sure, it’s often easier to make “password” the password for all of your accounts. Yet, many of these security resolutions will actually make your digital life more streamlined. Give them a shot! If they don’t work for you, then it won’t be hard to revert back to your old, unsecured ways.

digital security

3 Digital Security Resolutions For 2017

1. Update Your Passwords & Use 2-Step Verification

Ideally, you should use a different complex password for every online account that you own. Considering almost every website or app that you use asks you to create an account, attempting to remember 100+ uniquely intricate passwords might seem like a fool’s errand. Fortunately, many sites and software allow you to sign in with your gmail or Facebook account credentials. That’s all fine and good, so long as the passwords for those accounts are unique and secure. That means avoiding dreadfully obvious things like birthdays, favorite sports teams, and even the names of your children. At the very least, you should have a different and complicated password for every important account, like your online banking, your email and social media profile, and any e-commerce sites that you use (Amazon, Ebay, etc…).

If you still find it too daunting to remember some crazy number-letter-symbol combination for these accounts, you can always utilize a password manager. These typically encrypt and store your passwords and are subsequently unlocked with a master key (password). Most password managers are fairly secure, however they do chain all of your digital account credentials together. If someone got ahold of your master key, it wouldn’t be hard for them to break into your various accounts. More secure password managers require two-step verification, which brings us to our next point.

You should try to enable two-step verification on every account that you own. This typically requires users to receive a text-message with a security code every time they enter an account on a new device. Unless someone has access to your text messages, it would be extremely difficult for them to break into your account. You can choose to let your account remember certain devices, so that you don’t always have to check your texts before logging in.

2. Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is becoming increasingly popular in the hacking community. The basic gist is, a hacker infects your computer with a type of malware via an unsecured website or suspicious download. The malware then locks your entire hard drive and a message appears. The messages vary, but they generally ask the victim to make a bitcoin payment in order to unlock their computer. Ransomware is nothing new, but the increased prevalence of relatively untraceable cryptocurrencies have re-popularized this method of attack.

The best way to defend yourself from ransomware is to do what most savvy computer users already do: backup your data. We suggest using an external hard drive to back up your entire computer every two weeks or so. This will protect you from malicious hacker hijinks and troublesome hardware hick-ups. Unfortunately, if you get hit with ransomware, your computer might be toast. At the very least, you’ll be able to retain your dignity and your data with an external backup.

3. Use A Home Media Server Rather Than The Cloud

younityThe younity app is a media server software application. It creates a personal and private network for your devices and the files stored within them. It’s somewhat like a cloud storage service, except it doesn’t require you to upload or sync anything onto a third-party server. Instead, younity turns your own computers into a private servers.

younity works by scanning your computer hard drives. It then “serves” all of your files and content into the desktop client and mobile app. It provides a similarly convenient accessing solution that cloud services offer. However, younity is easier to setup, completely automated, and more personal than the cloud.

Using younity to access, stream, download, and share your files is a great way to boost your digital security this year. Rather than relying on third-party cloud services to store and serve your files, younity lets you take full control of your content. And, younity has the added benefit of automatically organizing your files, helping you declutter your digital life in 2017. With a beautiful media-centric interface and a hassle-free setup, using the younity app is a no brainer for your new tech savvy and digitally secure life.

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