5 Ways to Make your New Digital Device Unhackable

If you’re like most people, you probably use the same, easy to remember password time and time again. In the rush to set up your new phone or download latest app, setting up a complex password is not your priority.

Weeks go by and life goes on. The not-so-new tech ‘toy’ keeps you happy and busy, but the password upgrade hasn’t happened. But your complacency means your personal information is at risk of being hacked by cybercriminals.

A 2019 US based study confirmed consumers reported losses of a staggering US$667million through fraud related cases. Identity theft through password hacking was ranked the top nefarious activity in the frauds. Here in Australia the number of cyber fraud cases is not too far behind the US.

Cybercriminals have sophisticated automated tools which use lists of passwords and account details from other breaches to crack passwords. They use them across lots of different accounts to try to gain access. And many are successful.

But it’s not just passwords you need to think about. Without adequate cyber security measures in place, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and even families are susceptible to the trauma and financial devastation of a cyber-attack.

Here are five tips to help you be cyber-security smart.




Cyber-security smart tips

Tip 1: Change the default password on all new devices, services or apps.

A password manager such as Keeper Security can easily generate a unique, complex password for your new device, service or app. It will automatically populate the ‘change password’ field.

If your device has a default password and doesn’t interact with your password manager, consider manually entering the generated password. Yes, it might be a bit more tedious but well worth the effort to keep your personal information safe.

Tip 2: Activate two factor authentication

If the device or service uses two-factor authentication (2FA), activate this and follow the instructions to generate and store the 2FA script. This, too, can be stored in the password manager along with the original record.

The password manager should save the generation script for the recently created or updated records. Make sure to save any backup codes generated as these will be needed if and when the 2FA isn’t available. They are also more likely to be required if you use a standalone 2FA app.

Tip 3: Activate the regular updates option

If the regular updates option is available, activating it will ensure your device, or app is equipped with the latest new or improved features. More importantly, it guarantees new patches are applied so you are continually protected.

Tip 4: Reset factory defaults on pre-owned and old devices

If your new device is pre-owned, it is worth investing the time to reset it to factory defaults. This will ensure that if you miss anything when configuring the device for your own use, you can rely on the original factory settings instead of those set up by the previous owner.

If you are no longer using an old device and its associated services, make sure to clear all your data and reset to factory settings.

For a digital service you no longer need:

  1. Log in and remove as much of your information as possible before resetting to factory settings.
  2. Before logging out, mark the account as no longer required and able to be deleted.
  3. If this is not possible, raise a support call/email with the service provider, asking them to delete the account within a specified time from the email date.

 Tip 5: Revisit settings regularly

Remember to revisit your settings regularly, as they may change following a system upgrade, for example.

If the service has added new options to one of your existing settings, check if you are willing to accept the defaults, or you prefer to change them.

It also pays to check your other settings after a change, to ensure the service hasn’t automatically reset them.

Now you have completed setting up your new service or device with all the security measures intact, sit back and immerse yourself in your tech indulgence with cyber peace of mind.

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Peter Stulcbauer

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