If you are not doing it already, we strongly encourage everyone to use a secure password manager and to use randomly generated passwords for all computer systems. Website breaches happen on a daily basis and credential lists become freely accessible. Hackers and automated scripts will use the credentials in those lists to further try accessing other systems such as email, social media, business services– all for financial gain. The more you continue to use the same password for everything, the bigger the chance that you will give away access to critical data and make it harder to recover.
We use and recommend the following the password managers:
- KeePass (FREE)
- 1Password (Individual and family plans available)
- Dashlane (Free and paid plans available)
If a service offers added security features like multi-factor authentication, turn them on. When you enter your password, you will receive a message, usually via text, with a one-time code that you must enter before you can log in.
Most banking sites and popular sites like Google, Apple, Instagram and Facebook offer multi-factor authentication, and will ask for a second one-time code anytime you log in from a new device.
Internet Explorer should not be used as the primary web browser on any computer. It is still included with Windows 10 but only as a legacy application to access OTHER legacy applications (state government or internal websites).
We use and recommend Mozilla Firefox as our primary web browser on Windows and Mac computers, as well as Apple IOS and Android devices. Firefox has several privacy-oriented features to keep you safe on the web, including the ability to block “trackers” which collect information about your browsing habits and interests. It can also notify you of any known data breaches that contain your information. Firefox is designed to protect your privacy.
Google Chrome is an alternative to Mozilla Firefox and it works great if you are a heavy Google user (think Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive). However, one of the big arguments against Google is how they use your data. Google leverages its free services to make money through the sale of advertising and online behavior tracking. Your online presence and data storage with them is the product they sell to third parties.
Of course, you should always be aware and cautious no matter what web browser you use.