In protecting your information, do you use a combination of something you have, such as a bank card, and something you know, Personal Identification Number (PIN), to protect your information or other resources?
This “two-factor” login significantly increases the level of protection used for that account and is also the system used when withdrawing money out of the bank. As we approach the end of October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), I wanted to draw attention to a similar strategy that is available to help protect personal accounts from abuse.
From online finances to social networking and e-mail, all of these sites comprise part of our “cyber-identity”. Many of these websites are increasing security by providing the option to use a “two-factor” login. By sending a one-use password to your mobile phone using text messages a growing number of Internet services are offering the ability for users to strengthen the security of their accounts beyond that of just a password.
For example, Google/Gmail can be setup to send a one-time password to your mobile phone via SMS message for each login or once every 30 days. Similarly, with Hotmail you can designate a trusted PC or incorporate text messages for password resets. Facebook offers the ability to receive SMS messages as part of the login process when an unknown device is detected attempting to access your account. There are other similar sites with similar security options available for your use. What sites and security options do you find useful?
With the growing number of adversaries out there causing mischief, it’s certainly worth checking out to see if these or similar security options will work on your personal accounts to protect your cyber persona. Stay secure and stay safe online!
Below are some additional tips to protect against Identity Theft. Do you have any others?
- Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED"
- When you order your checks, don't list a telephone number. Write the number on the check at the time of the transaction, if needed.
- Photocopy the contents of your wallet including both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will have your account numbers and phone numbers in case of theft or loss.
Cyber Defense Analyst
EUCOM Network Warfare Center