Paranoid Is The New Normal
(How To Become a Professional Paranoid)
In our previous blog post, we explained that the first step to making sure your digital life is secure is through awareness.
Once you are aware that Big Brother is always watching, you can arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to protect yourself. Through integrating certain practices into your life, your digital assets — from personal information to cryptocurrencies — can become much more secure. So how does one become a professional paranoid? Here’s some good first steps…
1.Create Strong Passwords
If you currently use passwords that consist of a word with a number thrown on the end (as many people do), a hacker could break into your account in under an hour just by using free software found online.
There are strong password generators you can utilize to create a strong password, but then you have to make sure to keep that password somewhere safe and secure.
An even better way to make a strong password that you can easily remember is to come up with a sentence, such as “My #1 favorite thing in the world is pepperoni pizza.” Then condense this into a password by using the first letter of each word: M#1ftitwipp.
Now you have an easy-to-remember password with uppercase, lowercase, number, and special characters. The longer you can make the sentence, the better. Plus, since it’s not an actual word, a hacker will have an incredibly difficult time trying to crack it. Try to come up with a unique sentence now, making sure to use special characters and numbers.
2. Don’t Flaunt Your Digital Assets
Maybe you have a bunch of Bitcoins and want to share that with the world. A word of advice: Don’t.
You wouldn’t go to the most dangerous part of your city at 2 a.m. and start yelling out how much cash you have in your wallet, right? So don’t do that on the internet with your cryptocurrencies, either. The more people that are aware how much you have, the higher the chance someone is going to try and hack you.
This may seem like obvious advice, but unfortunately a lot of people have been hacked because they bragged about how much crypto was in their portfolio.
Crypto investor guru Ian Balina repeatedly made it known to the world that he had over $4 million in cryptocurrencies. On April 16, 2018, he noticed someone had hacked into his wallet and stole about $2 million worth of Ether right under his nose. This happened just a couple of days after he posted a screenshot of his portfolio on Twitter, which surely incited hackers to target him. Don’t be like Balina. Be smart about who knows how much your digital assets are worth. In the words of Gandalf: Keep it secret, and keep it safe.
3. Use Cold Storage Methods
Cold storage means taking your digital assets offline. There are several ways to do this. For private documents, it could simply mean putting them all on a USB drive you keep in a safe. This way, they aren’t stored on the internet or on your computer, where they could get hacked into.
For cryptocurrencies, it means creating a paper wallet or investing in a hardware wallet. These methods also take your crypto offline and safe from internet thieves. For more info on types of cryptocurrency wallets out there, here’s a handy guide.
The best way to keep your private information and digital assets safe from being stolen is to take it off of the internet altogether — then the only way someone could access it would be to physically break into your home and get into your safe.
These are just a few guidelines to protecting your digital life. By implementing these tips, you would be well on your way to becoming a professional paranoid, as we should all be.