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How to Stop a Hacker in Under 1 Minute

Published: 06/24/2019

How to Stop a Hacker in Under 1 Minute

Hackers, and Phishers, and Cyber Stalkers... OH MY!

It's Tuesday night. You get home from work, walk the dog, make dinner, finish the laundry that has been sitting in the dryer longer than you care to admit, and call it a night. All of a sudden you receive an Instagram notification on your phone,

"We Detected An Unusual Attempt to Log Into You Account from Athens, Alabama. Was This You?"

Confused and slightly concerned, you immediately deny the attempt, thinking to yourself, "I have never been to Alabama, let alone know anyone there...what is going on?"

What do you do next?

Instagram and other social media platforms have gotten a lot smarter when it comes to recognizing the unusual activity, but then again so have the hackers causing that activity. The best way to stop malicious account activity is to prevent it in the first place. We know, this seems like common sense, but hey - everyone can use a friendly reminder now and then.

Two-Factor Authentication - What is 2FA?

Multi-factor or Two-Factor Authentication is a great preventative tool, stopping hackers in their tracks! So what is it? Two-Factor Authentication is exactly what it sounds like, a two-step authentication process to verify you are the one accessing your accounts. You would be amazed at how many apps offer this security feature and you can go to the two factor authorization list website to find those that offer 2FA.

TIP: Keep this website up on one device while you set up the 2FA on another. i.e. keep this website up on your tablet while you are updating the 2FA on your phone.

Two Factor Authentication can be set up a couple of different ways, however, the most common are via text confirmation or security app confirmation. When you opt into Two-Factor Authentication, you will have the option to choose between one of those two options. Be selecting text confirmation, the app will send a text message to your phone with a numeric code. The app will then ask you to provide your code. By doing so, an extra layer of security is added since there is an unlikely chance the hacker is able to receive your text messages.

Apps are also smart enough to recognize specific devices, so the authentication process will only be implemented if the app detects an unfamiliar device, meaning you don't have to verify your identity every time you want to update your status or post a picture!

An alternative option to text confirmation is to use a security app. There are specific apps made just for this authentication purpose, but your Google Mail App can also serve this purpose. For example, when selecting to opt in using a security app confirmation, you can enable the app to email your Google account, to which you would receive a notification email, asking you to confirm your identity. While this also adds a layer of protection to your accounts, we recommend enabling the text feature.

Why? Because if that hacker already has access to one of your accounts, he or she may have access to more, yet it is still unlikely they would have access to your texts.

Now that you know what it is, here is how to enable 2FA:

While every app is different, most apps using this feature have a similar opt-in process. For example, Log-in, select Settings, select Security and Privacy, click Two-Factor Authentication. Then chose to enroll or enable.

Watch the video below to see just how easy this process is:
(for security purposes, we did not show the text message sent by Instagram with the verification code)

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4 Additional Ways to Stop Hackers: 

Passwords, Passwords, Passwords!

I know, we sound like a broken record, but it's true! Having your devices and accounts password protected is huge. Here are some tips to make your passwords the most effective:

1. Have a Password for Each Account

Yes, that is a lot of passwords, but you don't have to remember them all. There are great password storing tools out there (No, not Notes on your phone) like Password Safe, Keeper Password Manager, or Password Manager: Passible.

2. Make Sure Each Password is Unique

We know it is easier to just use the same password for everything, but Identity Theft is not a joke!

3. Don't Share Your Passwords

Sounds like common sense, right... but common sense isn't always common practice. So we threw this one in just for a friendly reminder!

4. Make the Password Something Hard for the Hacker to Guess

Listed below are the most frequently used passwords as noted by, so try to avoid those! It is recommended your passwords consist of random letters, symbols, and numbers in which no way relate to you.

Here are some examples of bad passwords: sharkboy27, BiscuitLover!1!, Ilovedogs123
Try and aim for some more complexity, but also something memorable. Nothing is more frustrating than being locked out of your accounts for not being able to remember your login info...speaking from personal experience here!

[Rank Password Image]

Knowledge is Power!

Security is always something to keep in the back of your mind, after all, it's pretty hard to have a good time when you're worried about identity theft. Know that you know some tips and tricks to stump hackers, it's time to act.
It pays to prevent, so take the one minute tonight and add two-factor authentication to your apps. You can go to sleep knowing you have an extra layer of protection, and your laundry is finally folded. It's a Win-Win.

To learn more about these tips and facts, check out our sources linked below:
Password Safe
Keeper Password Manager
Password Manager: Passible
Google Mail App