How to Live Online: Tips to Manage “Multiple Personalities”

How to Live Online: Tips to Manage “Multiple Personalities”

If you’re like most people you have more than one website to login to. You have your Facebook personality, your Google Account, your email logins, etc. These are like modern “multiple personalities”. This quick article includes some tips on making managing those multiple personalities easier, safer and more efficient.

THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE:

1. an UP TO DATE antivirus program, preferrably one with a firewall or phishing filter.

2. an UP TO DATE computer – those windows/Linux updates are important, they are put there to close holes that viruses and hackers use to compromise the security of your computer.

3. An understanding that any virus will transfer to your system faster than security updates – this is why in this modern day and age it’s much better to have a fast internet and pay a little extra than a slow connection – a Virus takes seconds (or less) to infect your system – Security updates can take minutes or hours.

4. Don’t be an idiot – backup your important data. If you don’t want to fork out money for an external hard drive, at the very least sign up for a dropbox.com website or box.net or any other website that provides online storage for free. These free resources aren’t the best and hold only small amounts of data (for free) but they’re better than just not having a backup. Your computer isn’t worth anything in comparison to the information, media, photos, documents, etc that you put on it. I have priceless photos of my brother and grandmother on my computer – If the computer’s HDD fails I’d lose those files without a backup method. Find the backup method you like and use it. I personally have redundant backups of ALL my data – because back in the day, I lost a DECADE worth of priceless information – including a 200+ page manuscript of a novel I had been working on.

THINGS NOT TO DO:

1. Do NOT use the same password for all your different online site logins – if someone obtains access to one site (and eventually someone will) ALL your site logins are now subject to this infiltrator’s whims. This is ESPECIALLY important in regards to sites which have your financial information (like online stores, your bills, your bank). If you find using separate passwords to be too much of a bother then at the very least have a different password for those sites which have access to your WALLET.

2. Using the same account for your site logins as your primary email may seem like a good idea, but it really degrades overall the security of that email account. You have your facebook, your online stores, your bank, etc. and they all use email as a method of confirming identity or communicating with you.

 

SUGGESTIONS TO DO:

1. Add more personality – Use different emails for different credentials – For example, I have my business email address provide credentials for the places I do business, while I have another for business correspondence. I have a personal email (which some people abuse) to send and receive personal emails. I have several spam accounts which I use to connect to social networks and forum websites.

2. Credential Managers are abundant. I will suggest several which may fit your needs – a good credential manager can generate a password for you, which is secure and much more difficult to hack than a consciously designed password. Some suggested credential managers: LastPass (has browser plugins), Keepass and there are many more. Some are cross-platform, and you can definitely benefit from using one.

Keepass: http://keepass.info/

LastPass: https://lastpass.com/

3. If you get a request for an app/game on a social network – do not allow the request to go through unless you’re SURE it’s a safe app. Just because your friend sent it to you doesn’t mean it’s trusted, doesn’t even mean your friend sent it to you or even knows it exists. When you were a kid you probably heard the talks about “Don’t talk to strangers” – well it’s still very true online. A Stranger on the internet comes in the form of websites/apps and more importantly security access requests. The “Allow/Do Not Allow” question is more important than you know. Everyone who’s used Windows Vista knows you see that question every time you click your mouse (Windows User Access Control still needs a lot of work) but it’s important to read it either way.

 

IF YOU’RE STILL NERVOUS:

Ask someone who really knows what they’re talking about. I obviously could not possibly pass along all the accumulated knowledge in my head about online security and concerns, and I’m not an IS expert, just a computer geek and fairly intelligent guy. Ask someone, or pay someone if you feel it’s worth it. I’m working on computers, doing things like this at home to bring in some kind of money so we don’t end up in the red every month with only my wife’s income. I’m really cheap because I have to be, but I’m really a nice guy, I’m honest, and I’m pretty darn good at what I do. If you want to ask me any questions, email me at mr.drew.ford@gmail.com or call me. I’ll answer your questions. If you need help or lessons, I know I can do it. But there’s lots of us geeks out there in the world, so if you don’t know/want/care to talk to me, find your geek, ask them.

 

Thanks for your time,

 

-Drew-

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