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8 Ways to Secure Your Passwords and Data Online

8 Ways to Secure Your Passwords and Data Online

According to CBS, 1.5 million cyber attacks occur annually with 47% of Americans having their personal information stolen via data breaches. It’s more important than ever before to protect your personal information online. Here are a few tips to help you keep your data and passwords private and protected.

1. Write It Down

Write down your passwords the traditional way on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place. You may not be able to retrieve your passwords if they’re stored solely on your PC or laptop in case of a hard drive failure or theft. Information stored on a device may also be vulnerable if you get hacked.

2. Pick a Strong Password

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According to CNET, a strong password should have at least 16 characters and combine lower and upper case letters, symbols and spaces. Avoid using any repetition, such as 1, 2, 3.

One way of creating a complicated password that’s easy to remember is by using a phrase. For example, “My favorite cousin Jessica was born in 2016” turns into MfcJwbi2 when you take the first letter of each word in order to create your password.

Experts suggest avoiding using any word that can be found in the dictionary as part of your passwords. For example, “flower,” “house” and “palm trees” are all poor choices.

3. Use a Password Generator and Manager

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Password managers like LastPass and RoboForm can be used to automatically fill out your log-in and password information. LastPass also comes with a password generator, which can be used in order to create a secure password instantly.

The drawback of using a password generator is that all of your data will be protected with a single password, which can still be breached. For example, LastPass was breached by hackers in 2015.

4. Never Use the Same Password Twice

According to a study, 31% of hacking victims used the same password on more than one site. Using the same password on numerous sites allows hackers to crack one password and obtain access to your other accounts using the same password. The best solution is to use a unique password on every site and use a password manager in order to keep track of them.

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5. Don’t Change Your Passwords Too Often

According to Wired, changing passwords at set intervals is ineffective and a waste of time. It’s better to create one unique and longer password instead of changing them every few months.

6. Avoid Entering Passwords on Public Networks and Devices

Avoid entering your password at public computers such as cyber cafes and libraries. You’re also more vulnerable when using public wi-fi networks such as Starbucks or McDonald’s where hackers can intercept data.

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7. Enable Stronger Authentication Tools

Some companies are enabling a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Biometric identifier, such as fingerprint scanners, in order to access your account. Having numerous check points in place minimizes the risk of a breach.

New Apple iPhones and iPads come equipped with Touch ID, which allows users to unlock their phone and make app purchases via fingerprint. Fingerprints are stored via chip instead of Apple’s cloud, making the data extra secure.

8. Scan Your System for Malware

It’s not just the hackers you have to worry about. It’s also possible for someone in real life, such as a significant other or spouse, to install a keylogger on your PC or laptop in order to obtain log-in info. This usually occurs when the other party suspects infidelity. Reduce your risk by installling anti-spyware software, such as McAfee, Panda Anti-Virus or AVG, and scan your system at least once every two weeks. You can reduce your risk further by downloading the latest updates for your OS.

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Jacqueline Cao

Entrepreneur

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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