How to build a loving relationship for life (with your internet security)

Nilima Patwardhan, Cybersecurity PR

February 14th marks a day of love. We spend time nurturing loving relationships in the physical world, but what about our online world?

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published a report last year where they revealed that less than half of us do not always use a strong, separate password for our main email account and that 23.2 million victims of cyber security used 123456 as a password.

As busy people, we don’t tend to stop and think about what’s going on under the lid of our laptop, and quite often think that someone, or something else, is taking care of it for us. We desire the presence of internet security for our children when they browse, we feel passionate about security for our online banking, so why don’t we feel invested in learning more about it for ourselves?

Taking care of your online safety

There is no getting away from the digital planet that we inhabit and perhaps it’s time to review our relationship with e-safety. Here are three security areas that we can start to get to know better.

1. Build a relationship with your router

The router box, when it comes to us, has already been with someone else. We know this because it arrives with a default password. Keeping that password could mean giving another individual access to your life. Think about when you are accessing networks from your phone or computer. A long list comes up. Yours will be on that list for others to see. We can keep home-breakers out by making the router our own love affair and it’s not difficult to do. Make a date with your router and follow these helpful tips from lifewire on how to make it harder for hackers (and nosy neighbours).

2. Be passionate about passwords

Have you been courting the same password, or set of passwords, for a number of years now? Familiarity makes us feel secure, but it’s not safe. What happens if a website is hacked and the password that you use for that site is also the password you use for lots of other sites? Your personal information could be stolen. The most loving thing we can do is have a different password for every single site we choose to engage with. Password managers such as LastPass require one password to be the key to your heart. Once inside the chambers, you see all the websites that have separate passwords. The charm being that you don’t have to remember any of them. Your caring password manager does it for you.

3. Learn to love 2FA

We all recognise that we need to pay attention to the things that are good for us; five-a-day fruit and vegetables, regular exercise etc. We know that it’s incredibly important, yet we don’t always love doing it. Two-factor authentication or 2FA is a bit like this. Now that we have our baseline internet security in place, we have to think about giving ourselves a little bit more of a hug. This extra level of security is an excellent way to be doubly safe, just in case the first level is threatened in any way. In our increasingly digital lives, we have to accept that internet safety must become part of our psyche and somehow learn to love the effort it brings. We can be thankful for those companies that ask us to add another bit of information to check that it is truly us they are engaging with.

Having an awareness of online safety is a new relationship for many of us, yet it’s one that we can build and nurture forever.

Keep calm and love internet security!

Nilima Patwardhan, Freelance Cybersecurity PR

Thanks to Nilima for sharing her top tips for a better relationship with our internet security. If you’re interested to read more about internet safety, here’s another piece from Nilima about digital habits to keep you and your family safe >

[Image credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay]

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