Happy New Year!

Blog / Happy New Year!

Start 2024 safely and securely.

Welcome to a new year with new challenges. I’ve made plenty of security recommendations over the course of this newsletter, most of them aimed at organizations, but a few were of a more personal nature. So I figured it would be a great way to ease into 2024 by reviewing some tips for securing your personal cyber-life because even though there won’t be a test, good cybersecurity habits start at home.

Suggestion 1: Have multiple email accounts.

The idea here is to separate your inboxes so you don’t have as much spam clogging them up, making it easier to sort through spam or phishing attempts to find legitimate emails. You should have at least three email addresses:

  1. For personal communication—Use this address exclusively for communicating with friends and family.
  2. Email for high-priority services—Use the second address to register for important/governmental services like online banking, filing taxes, or managing student loans, among others.
  3. Email for casual, social, or entertainment services—This one’s basically a junk account meant to be a graveyard for spam or joining sites you know will generate it. It’s the email address you give to Mark Zuckerberg to use Facebook, or that you use to sign up for the free streaming trial you don’t really intend to keep after watching that one hit show. You can always change the account address it to a more important inbox later.

Suggestion 2: Use multiple credit cards.

Similar to keeping multiple email addresses for different purposes, using different credit cards for different kinds of purchases makes it much easier to detect unauthorized purchases and fraudulent charges. In this case I would recommend at least two:

  1. Used strictly for online purchases
  2. Used for in-person purchases

Not only does keeping your online and offline purchases separated by card make it easier to notice a fake charge, but it also allows you the flexibility of adjusting each card’s credit limit to… well, limit the damage that a bad actor could do if they get ahold of a card’s information. There’s virtually no way to charge out thousands of dollars worth of fraud on a card limited to just a few hundred dollars without the hacker trying to up the limit and thus getting the bank directly involved (which hackers almost certainly won’t do).

Separating your online and in-person purchases is a solid start, but using two or three credit cards to further divide your real world purchases makes spotting a compromised card even easier. Consider keeping one card for racking up points at the gas station, another for getting cashback on your groceries, and a third with travel perks for miscellaneous real-world shopping, though it does mean monitoring multiple accounts for suspect transactions instead of just one or two.

Suggestion 3: Improve your password hygiene.

Company passwords need to follow company policy, and we’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being in compliance. But when it comes to our personal passwords… well, the less said about that the better. Improving how you handle your personal passwords won’t just help secure your online presence, but can also make it easier to properly handle your work ones. Some suggestions are:

  1. Use a memorable passphrase, not a simple password.
  2. Use a password manager.

Passphrases have long been recommended over passwords; their length and complexity make them harder to break, and well-formulated ones can actually be easier to remember than a convoluted string of characters. Meanwhile, using a good password manager means you only have to remember a single (hopefully really good) password to access the rest of them.

When it comes to your security, don’t leave it to someone else, and take active measures to keep yourself safe. Many businesses and organizations say “We are deeply concerned about the security of our users,” but the phrase is often only true to the extent required by law, so never rely on them to keep you safe. A few simple changes to your behavior can improve your security without costing you anything.

For our first Shakespeare quote of the year I’ve pulled a line from Hamlet; “This above all; to thine own self be true.”

If you’d like more information on how to keep yourself safe, or for help protecting your business or organization, contact a TRINUS technician and start 2024 off right with some stress-free IT.


Be kind, courtesy your friendly neighbourhood cyber-man.

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