Happy New Year! – It’s 2013 and time to bring in the new year with a few security – related reminders to keep you and yours safe and out of the low-hanging fruit category. Face it there will always be low-hanging fruit as long as people own computers but you have the intelligent choice to where you want to strategically hang. In the most basic sense of security you can look at it in terms of not worrying too much about outrunning the bear as long as you are sure you can outrun the last person that bear is chasing. 😉 Let’s get this party started!
1. Change your passwords
When’s the last time you changed your passwords? Exactly! Take this week to update and synchronize your passwords across your computers and mobile devices.
Back in 2012 there were quite a few breaches on popular social networks where accounts and passwords were posted publicly and thrown into cracking machines across the globe… Remember length over complexity is the key!
2. Get an encrypted database
Tired of remembering all your passwords?…or simply using a single password for all the systems you have accounts on? Upgrade your security by getting an integrated encrypted database like 1Password, or LastPass where you can store all your unique passwords and use a single password to unlock it for you. This is much more secure as these security mechanisms doubly protect you from falling for a spoofed site (such as using similar named words or even unicode trickery) by making sure certain URL criteria match programatically instead of visually.
3. Improve security with Evernote or similar
Still using a clutter of text files to keep notes and lists? Use this month to start using a clouded service such as Evernote or Google Docs to keep your data. The security upgrade here is that if your local data copies explode in a malware-ridden chained attack with an EMP blast on top – you can always retrieve your data from wherever you are from your new laptop to your smartphone. Paranoid about others eyeballing your data while you aren’t looking? Encrypt it before you upload it.
4. Encrypt your hard disk
Speaking of encryption. Don’t wait for someone to steal your laptop or even desktop to only regret all your evidence on your laptop – including all the things you put off deleting until a more convenient time – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Save yourself shame, embarrassment and being ostracized by encrypting your hard disk, flash drives, mobile devices today.
5. Get a Mac malware scanner
Have you been pwned? Do you even know how to start? Scan your computer today with a non-obtrusive malware scanner. If all else fails you can try and re-image your computer back to its factory image – the benefit here is you get rid of all the years of crud of bloatware that you no longer use and refresh your life with a speedier image? Stretch the life cycle of your aging machine by another year or two by starting anew today!
But wait! There’s more… For more details check out the two following articles: 10 Security Tips for Safe Computing for OS X Mountain Lion and 20+ Top Security Tips for Safe Computing for Mac OS X
Online security resources mentioned herein: