I met someone the other day who said they didn’t have time for technology. Whether we like it or not, technology is a big part of our personal and professional lives. We can buy things, make appointments, and manage information using technology. And I don’t anticipate that changing anytime in the near future.
But with technology comes risk. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons that people say they don’t want to use technology. They figure if they don’t use it, then no one can hack their accounts or get their private information. Unfortunately, just because we don’t use technology doesn’t mean that everyone arounds us doesn’t put our names in a computer database that can be hacked. The answer is to be responsible technology users.
TechCrunch recently published five “how-to” guides focused on covering cybersecurity basics. If you’re not familiar with TechCrunch, they are a U.S. based publisher of technology industry news, owned by Verizon Media. The site has about 17M monthly readers worldwide. While I wouldn’t say this is everything that you need to know about cybersecurity, it’s an excellent start.
- Why you need to use a password manager – Are you looking for a way to keep track of all your passwords? Or do you use the same password for everything because you don’t want to remember multiple passwords? It might be time to consider a password manager.
- Two-factor authentication can save you from hackers– Many sites already use two-step authentication or verification. And while we know it’s to help us be safe on the web, it’s still a major pain in the you know what. Maybe if we learn more about how two-step authentication works, we won’t get quite as frustrated. And we’ll opt-in to use it.
- How to protect your cell phone number and why you should care– According to Pew Research, ninety-five percent (95%) of Americans own a cell phone of some kind. This places a huge importance on a single device and protecting it from hackers is important.
- How to browse the web securely and privately– Personally, I’ve become much more interested in learning about virtual private networks (VPNs) and HTTPS lately. Specifically, what they can and cannot do. Not because I’ve got some big, dark secret to hide. But if I’m traveling then I want to know I’m using the right technology the right way.
- How to get started with encrypted messaging apps– Finally, short messaging service (aka SMS) has become a primary means of communication for some. I receive SMS messages to confirm appointments and get messages from family and friends. I want to know those messages are secure.
Number six on this list comes from Google. It’s about phishing, which is defined as an attempt (usually via email) to trick you into giving away personal information. Google has published a “phishing quiz” which allows you to guess which emails are legit and which are fake. It’s not as easy as you might think. If you decide to take the quiz, one quick heads up – the quiz asks you to provide a name and email address at the beginning. You can totally make one up. They’re not collecting information. But as you know, some phishing scams look pretty legit because they include your name.
I thought these articles were a great primer about cybersecurity regardless of where you are in your unretirement journey. They could benefit you at work or at home. They might also be something you’d like to share with friends and family.
Helping people become better with technology benefits everyone. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out these TechCrunch and Google resources. And a huge thanks to TechCrunch and Google for publishing them.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland