Passwords: First Line of Defense

  • Use unique, long passwords/passphrases for each account (secure password guidance)
    • Secure all places where you have online accounts
    • Develop a comprehensive list of all these places
    • Figure out your passwords and security settings for each account
    • Use a password manager if necessary
  • Change passwords at least once per year
  • Implement authentication methods (read about authentication here)
  • Make sure only you know the answers to security questions
  • Don’t share your log-in credentials with anyone – not even friends and family members. Each time you share your ID and password combination, it potentially weakens your security

Review the content you receive and sites you visit

  • Confirm you know the sender of an email or text message. Do not open or reply to any message that you cannot verify the sender is legitimate. (email and text safety tips)
  • Check the URL on any site you visit to make sure it is secure. The domain name should begin with “https” – the “s” signifying a secure site. (learn more about phishing)

Protecting Your Computer

  • Physical Security (device security tips)
    • Turn on your passcode/password to access computer
    • Lock screen when not using computer
  • Software
    • Download security/malware protection software
    • Get VPN if necessary, especially if you use laptop in public Wi-Fi areas (WiFi security info)

Protecting Your Mobile Device

  • Physical Security (device security tips)
    • Turn on your passcode and make it secure (don’t use 123456)
    • Thumbprint and facial recognition technology is secure to an extent (for example, thumbprints can be used if you are sleeping or incapacitated)
    • Lock screen when not using phone
  • Location Services
    • Review your phone settings and be selective about how apps access your location data
    • There are many settings that help you balance convenience and privacy
  • In-App Security (learn more about safe apps)
    • Review security settings in apps, which are separate from phone settings


  • Privacy and Security Settings
    • Make sure you review privacy and security settings for each social media platform you are on
    • Many social media platforms allow you to limit and control what people can see, but remember that only you have ultimate control over what you post
  • Posting