Play on the internet like the professionals do.

Ever wondered what the security experts do to stay safe online?

A recent study on the habits of security-savvy users and the non-security people using technology has revealed a few things that I have been trying to put into words and pictures for some time.Beutler_Google_Security-practices

What do security experts do differently? First, let’s take a look at the everyday user’s top tips for staying safe.

  1. Antivirus software
  2. Strong passwords
  3. Change passwords often
  4. Stick to well known websites
  5. Don’t share personal information

All pretty common sense measures you would agree but what about the security experts?

  1. Install software updates
  2. Use unique passwords
  3. Use two factor authentication
  4. Use strong passwords
  5. Use a password manager

Acronis25You can see there is some overlap, everyone agrees that strong and unique passwords are important. This is often the first barrier to fall when it comes to user database breaches and brute-force account compromises but this is where the similarities end. The security experts do not focus on antivirus software, rather they make sure that the systems they are using are properly patched and kept up to date as most threats to digital security are exploited weaknesses in the software that people use every day. Leaving a hole unpatched is like leaving your front door open allowing unauthorised access with a minimum of fuss.

Two factor authentication is another point of difference that thwarts account breaches by guessing passwords. This is a method where security experts use not only a password but a second method of authorising access either through a hardware device or text message to secure an account. This means that a guessed password is still useless on it’s own.

Unique passwords for each service or website is also handy in case a password is guessed it can’t be used on other services. Managing a large catalog of passwords is no easy feat so a password manager (secured with two factor authentication thankyou very much) is an idea way to keep the mess under control.

If you want to make your online existence more secure and you are looking for a tip to get started. I would recommend Lastpass which can be secured by two factor authentication so you manage to kill two birds with one stone and the fully paid version is only USD$12/year! You can get it by clicking here.

For the Google Blog post on the study, click here.