How to Solve You Being the Weakest Link in the Chain
Just like clock-work any time I teach a technology class on risk management, safety &/or the Cloud, the question always arises from the crowd…..yeah these are really cool tools, but are they safe?
And while it is true even some of the largest technology companies have had to deal with hacking incidents in recent memory and that there is no such thing as a 100% impenetrable/hack-proof product out there, I am of the belief that the cloud is very safe. That is as long as you the end user aren’t the weak link in the chain.
What I mean by that is, if you have been victim to viruses several times in the past, then you might not want to invest in technologies like the cloud, because viruses are of course an easy entry point for hackers (but this is easily remedied by obtaining a good Anti-Virus Suite such as Avast.com or AVG.com). But the other area where you could be the weakness is your use of weak or repetitive passwords on more than one site.
What happens to most of us is, due to the high number of sites we now have to remember passwords for, we understandably get lazy and reuse the same or similar password on multiple websites &/or are forced to carry around a spreadsheet everywhere you go with all of your site logins.
Well there is a big problem with this, hackers have caught onto this trend and now often target websites with low security (example no private data), steal the user login info, then go to high security sites (ex. shopping &/or credit card sites), plug this information in and often are able to access your accounts without ever having to hack into the big sites with all the premium security. In other words, if you are using weak &/or repetitive passwords, it is not a question of if you will be the victim of identity or credit card theft, but when.
But what if I told you the solution to this is easy and FREE (or the Premium Package is only $12/year). It is called LastPass and it stands for the Last Password you will ever need. The way it works is you will install this onto every computer device (including the app on your mobile devices) you have and it then installs itself with a little icon/button into all of the web browsers (ex. Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.) on those devices. So once you have this set up and you go back to any website that requires a login/password, all you have to do is click on the LastPass icon, request that it create a strong password for you for that site and it will store it for you in your password vault. You will need to repeat this process for every site you use, but once you update all of your sites, you can throw out your spreadsheet and from that point on you will only need to remember ONE password, your master password for your LastPass account! And the beauty of this program is it is cloud based and because you are installing it on all of your computer devices, you are always able to get into all of your websites from any device anytime with tough passwords (only you don’t have to remember them)! And the Paid/Premium Version even allows you to login from other people’s computers safely by going in through the LastPass website.
And by the way, brokers/company owners, you need to realize that one weak link in your chain can take the whole company down. So if I were in your shoes, I would consider requiring all of my employees to have good Anti-Virus & Password Protection software solutions.
Hopefully this tip will help you be more secure and make your lives a little bit easier but if you need more help on this including great encryption solutions to protect your files, emails, devices and more, check out the Tech Safety & Security section of RETI.