Sep 22, 2014 Vinu Varughese
Let’s admit it- Our online accounts are a vital part of our everyday life. From our social accounts for personal use to e-mail accounts for productivity and business, the truth is that they all are vulnerable to hacks. While there’s no such thing as being perfectly secure, I will try and show you some ways in which you can protect your accounts and to recover them accounts in case they are compromised.
First and foremost, you should avoid logging into our accounts in any unknown devices, i.e. computers in internet cafes, offices, or even a friend’s personal laptop. The threat of key loggers is still imminent, so whenever you use an unknown PC, make it a habit to use a virtual on-screen keyboard when you are asked to enter the username and password. You really don’t want key loggers to obtain the characters that you enter in the physical keyboards. You can find the on-screen keyboard on Windows by clicking on the accessories section.
If you have to copy a document from your mail to your mass storage device, or to print out flight ticket details from the internet café, one alternative is to have a temporary e-mail account, forward that particular mail to your temporary account and log in using the that account- this way you can keep your main account safe.
This is one of the basic security measures. When a login is triggered or if any security settings or password is changed, you get an email or an SMS alert on your smartphone informing you about the change and can take quickly the required action. Both Facebook and Twitter support this feature.
This is perhaps one of the most effective and powerful ways to protect your account. Currently supported by Facebook and Google, a secret code is also required apart from the password to login into an account. These passwords can be generated by specific code-generating apps and are refreshed in time intervals. Google uses the Google Authenticator or the Google security page to generate codes, even when the network is offline. There is an SMS option too to receive the codes.
Some apps such as the Google Talk or other third party apps for Windows aren’t compatible with codes generated by the Google Authenticator. Google’s security page provides a separate code called App-specific password for such apps.
Additionally, Facebook also uses this mechanism and Apple plans to implement it soon on its iCloud service. This method will also safeguard your original password from third-party apps.
Vinu has been passionate about technology since his childhood and loves to explain the capabilities of any product launched. He is very curious about just how far any tech can perform, even if it’s a low-end device. Apart from that, he loves to game with friends and some street photography- “You don’t need to own them to be passionate about it”.
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