Originally posted at Wired by Matt Burgess
THERE ARE TWO big reasons why people get hacked. Flaws in software and flaws in human behavior. While there’s not much you can do about coding vulnerabilities, you can change your own behavior and bad habits.
This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.
Just ask former US president Donald Trump, whose Twitter password was “maga2020!” Or Boris Johnson, who revealed details of sensitive Zoom calls at the start of the pandemic in 2020. (These world leaders will have had specific security training from protection agencies too.)
The risks are just as real for the average person—even if the stakes aren’t quite so high. If your accounts aren’t properly protected, your credit card could be compromised or your private messages and photographs stolen and shared for all to see. Working out if your accounts have been hacked is a time-consuming and potentially frustrating process. You’re better off taking some steps to mitigate the risks of getting hacked in the first place. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Arguably the most effective thing you can do to protect your online accounts is turning on multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication for as many of your accounts as possible. The method uses a secondary piece of information—often a code generated by an app or sent via SMS—alongside a password.
This secondary piece of information helps to prove it really is you trying to log in, as the codes are often accessed on the phone in your pocket. Even if you do have a password that’s easy to guess (we’ll get to that shortly), an attacker is unlikely to get access to an account with multi-factor authentication turned on unless they have your phone…
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