How Not to Get Hacked: The 30 Minute Set-up

By Tatiana Koffman

Dear Cryptoheads and Non-Cryptoheads,

As some of you may already know, we can no longer trust our phone companies. Over the last few weeks, hundreds of cases have been reported where T-Mobile and Verizon numbers have been ported, seemingly by corrupt employees, selling our phone numbers.

Don’t think this is a big deal? Your phone number can be used to hack your email, telegram, twitter, bank accounts, crypto exchanges, and much more. Even if you are not into crypto, this still affects you. Your number is the least safest recovery mechanism available to you, and you should take the next 30 minutes of your life to make sure absolutely nothing in your life is tied to it.

Step 1: Get the Google Authenticator App on your phone. This will allow you to input a code only available on your physical phone instead of having a code sent to an email or phone number. For every service that you use the app for, make sure to generate a set of back-up codes. Use Google Auth for ALL of your emails, social media and crypto exchanges.

Update: By popular demand I’m including LastPass Authenticator and Authy as alternatives. I have also been asked to recommend physical keys to your laptop and extra devices for you authenticator. Although there is a reasoning for this, I’m not going to make this recommendation. Adding another item that you don’t usually think of protecting, especially when you’re traveling, can make you an easy target.

Step 2: Get LastPass. This where you should be saving all of your passwords. You can also create a note in the LastPass. Save your Google Auth back-up codes here or print them and put them in a safety deposit box.

Step 3: Think of this set-up in 4 quadrants.

Step 4: Saving the best for last, it’s time to set up your VPN. I am partial to IPVanish, but there are other great options out there. It runs for about $10/month and should be installed on both your phone and laptop. Make sure your VPN is on anytime you are connecting to WiFi outside of your house.

Is this set-up bulletproof? No. There are other more extensive security measures that specialists may recommend. But these quick steps should be everything you need for general protection against your number being ported.

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