Whether you are “sheltering at home” or escaping to the office it is time to make yourself more secure in your online life.

The Covid-19 virus has awakened many to the need to be secure both in our physical health and our online security.

Your employer has not thought of this yet, but how secure is the network you have at your house?  I am guessing not very secure because the WIFI password was made simple for everyone including visiting relatives to use.

With a little extra time on your hands here is an item you can check off the to-do list that will make you more secure in our ever-increasing digital age

Passwords

Nearly everyone’s passwords are a disaster.  They are either kept on a pad of paper or are virtually the same except for a different number or symbol.  Online safety isn’t about being unhackable; it’s about not being the lowest-hanging fruit.

The No. 1 most annoying thing about the Internet — passwords — leads people to make the No. 1 security mistake — reusing passwords. Hackers know we do this, so they take passwords from one breached site and then try them on lots of others. Using a program to keep track of all your unique passwords takes some adjustment, but they’re getting simpler and can make logging into things faster.

Digital Guardian surveyed 1,000 people and found that the average email address is associated with 130 accounts.  It is time to take control of your passwords.

I recommend using a password manager.  Which one to use is up to you.   The most important step is to use one!    We use LastPass.  It requires that I remember only one password and the remainder of our passwords are randomly generated.

Consumer advocate has their choice for the 10 Best Password Managers of 2020

Find a password manager that fits your family best.

Step 1 – Pick a password manager to use – sign up and get enrolled

Step 2 – Make a list of your online accounts – you will be amazed at how many there are.

Step 3 – Use your computer or tablet to log on to each account.  Your password manager should automatically save the log on and password.

Step 4 – Now change the password and use your password manager to create a randomly generated 18-character password that uses CAPITAL LETTERS, lowercase letters, 123456789 and !@#$%^&*().  Yes, before you email me and tell me, I know that there are some sites that have restrictions as to what you can use.  You will have to adjust to that site’s shortcomings.

Step 5 – Turn 2-Factor Authentication on for each website that offers it.  Two-Factor Authentication will send a message to your cellphone every time you try to log in to make sure it is you.

Step 5 – If you are already using a password manager make sure you update it.   Our choice of LastPass, includes an automatic update in Chrome which was a factor in our choice.

Week One of Sheltering In Place

Per the Dallas County and Richardson requirements, we moved our office to our respective houses on Monday evening.

The Tannery Team is surviving the change and we connect regularly throughout the day either via ZOOM or phone calls.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“Cares Act”) passed on Wednesday night and I will have a to-do list and update to you early next week including a new tax deadline calendar.

For income taxes, we are proceeding to focus on getting your return complete as soon as possible to allow you to either get your refund or know your tax liability.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions.

The most confused by this change of work locations seem to be Buddy.  He is enjoying the random walks during the day and the ability to walk out the side door and nap in the sun.  He does, however, miss the affection (and treats) that he gets from Jennifer and Jill daily as well as the opportunity to bark at the UPS and FEDX deliveries.  For more updates on his daily activities check our Instagram and Facebook.

As for me, I have certainly enjoyed the sunshine, it makes this madness somewhat bearable.

Got a question or a fear you want to discuss?

Call me 214-239-4700 or send me an email Michael@tannerycompany.com

Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ● CEO
Registered Principal | Tannery & Company

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