I normally don’t have much trouble choosing a New Year’s Resolution, but this year has been tough. I just couldn’t think of something really important that I wanted to commit to. Well, a few days ago, I thought I’d found the BEST resolution. I was so excited that I called up my girlfriend and told her about my profound discovery: this year, I’m going to be much more secure online.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, because my girlfriend said the exact same thing: “What’s so special about that, Derick? Don’t you work for a company that creates cyber security solutions?”
From Online Security Zero to Online Security Hero
Yes, I do. But that doesn’t mean online security has been a top priority for me at home (at work is a different story, we are all very secure around here!). That has all changed, because since making my resolution I have been SUPER ULTRA MEGA secure when I’m at home or surfing at a coffee shop, store, or anywhere else:
- When an online account asks me to create a 12-character password, I create a 30-character passphrase.
- I never store passwords in my browser anymore.
- I use 2FA for everything (of course, I use Devolutions Authenticator — I love the push notifications).
- I’ve made some important security improvements to my home network.
- I am now a VPN addict and refuse to go online without an encrypted tunnel to protect me.
- I have setup the 4 types of security tools that everyone should be using: firewall, antivirus software, anti-spyware software, and password management software.
Do I sound paranoid? That’s what my girlfriend and her family is starting to think. They’re afraid that one of these days I won’t have a conversation with them without first doing a retina scan to confirm their true identity.
But you know what? Maybe being paranoid about online security is a good thing these days. Here are just some of the scary statistics:
- Email is responsible for distributing 92% of all malware. [Source]
- Every 14 seconds there is a new ransomware attack, which will cost victims $20 billion by 2021. [Source]
- By 2023, cybercriminals will steal an estimated 33 billion records. [Source]
If you want even more statistics (but be warned, you may never want go online again!), check out this article.
What Do You Think?
So, do you think I’m paranoid? Or am I just well prepared? Tell me what you think, and also please share any additional tips or stories so that I can convince my girlfriend that I’m not crazy or alone in this situation.