How 2-Step Verification Can Save You From Being Hacked

It’s crazy to think that anyone will want to gain access into your account. If you think like me; then I’d say I’m not a politician, celebrity or a millionaire. So why the heck will someone want to access my private mail and social networks. Unfortunately, that’s a wrong thought. Hacking has become a big threat and cyber disaster in today’s world.

I woke up to a morning alert on this fateful day — my recovery email was changed. It was far in Lagos Nigeria while I was sleeping in Greg Abbott’s state. At first, I didn’t take it serious at all. Reasons being that I’ve used my personal email as recovery for friends and families.

In my previous job, I had a lot of colleagues who’d always run to me to open an email. So when they forget the password, they run back to me again for salvation. This was sufficient to save the stress and just opt-in my email for recovery. So I had thought it’s just one of those folks, not knowing I was in for a big thing.

Millennials and tech enthusiasts often think they are smart and savvy enough. That’s an illusion, don’t be deceived by it. There are several geeks smarter than you and I. Online privacy and security is a big business — here, I mean real money. A whole lot of people have been scammed and looted in this area.

This is something which many people take for levity. And that’s why the higher the rate of cyber threat, the tighter cyber security measures become. In this piece, I share with you a few tips on enhancing your cyber awareness and alert.

  1. Use an “alphanumerosymbolic” combo for password: Many of us often use our date of birth and anniversary dates as pin to ATM cards and secure codes. This is not appropriate nor recommended. It’s one of the easiest way to pass through you. The most widely accepted code is a combination of alphabets, integer numerals and symbols like punctuation. Mix all three in any order using upper and lowercase lettering. Here’s a typical “3Xamp!e”. Make it a minimum of eight characters. The tougher it looks, the harder it is to crack. Never divulge or share your password in plain text. If you’ve done previously, it’s better to change it straight up.

2. Activate your 2-step verification: With increase in phishing and cyber crime, tech companies have beeped up security of accounts. Globally recognized domains such as Google and Facebook are leading examples that deploy the 2-step verification. So the time is right to enable 2-step verification on everything. I was lucky to have activated mine and that was what saved my account from compromise. I unintentionally created a loophole which was penetrated by the perpetrator. However, I received an alert that my recovery email was changed. This was followed by an SMS verification code to affirm if it was me. That’s what the 2-step verification does. Since your mobile device is right by your side, the hacker wouldn’t have access to the SMS you received. You do have the option to either accept to proceed or deny you don’t know about the activity. If you deny, then it prompts you for a password change immediately. It’s a very secure and effective way to check unauthorized access to your account. Having turned on my 2-step verification was a plus for me. It will help you add an extra layer of security to your account. You sign in with your known password and a code is sent to your mobile device. Implementation of multi-factor authentication is an idea whose time has come.

3. Define your security perimeter: A basic cybersecurity check is to have well-defined walls around different kinds of data. You need to grant access and permissions only to those who need it and this is often unnecessary. Limit access to apps, trivia games and sign-ins. In addition, do not click links that look unfamiliar or takes you to an unsecured webpage. I used to be an ardent Facebook guy before this moment. I guess I still am, but I had uninstalled the app of late for productivity reasons. I only access via web browser and this has really worked for me. However, I sometimes give in-app authorization and remember login details on my personal computer. This I’ve learned to be a risky exposure to password promiscuity. It’s better to often sign out of sessions when done and login again whenever you need access.

The time and efforts that you put into defining and documenting your online portfolio is where all the best practices start. This should detail the cybersecurity practices for safety and also encapsulate an incident response plan. A good example of how to react when things go awry is the 2-step verification. It saved me and I believe it can help you too.

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