413 – Nine Tips For Better Online Security

by Cliff Ravenscraft on July 26, 2015


Below are the Nine Tips that I shared in this episode that will help you achieve a greater level of online security.

1. Consider it your #1 Priority To Secure Your Email Account!

2. Don’t use the same password for more than one service on the internet.

3. I recommend the use of a secure password management system like LastPass or 1Password.

4. Come up with unique and crazy answers for Security Questions for each service that asks for them.

5. Use Two Factor Authentication Wherever Possible. Check out TwoFactorAuth.org.

6. Consider the Google Authenticator App

7. Consider using a Google Authenticator Plugin for your WordPress installs.

8. Make sure that your WordPress installation, plugins and themes are all up to date when updates are released.

9. Activate “Login Notification” on all accounts that offer this service.

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  • Dustin Hartzler

    Great episode with some very important advice. There are a few things that I want to add 🙂

    – You can use the Jetpack plugin to enable Two Factor Authentication on your self-hosted WordPress site by using the power of the WordPress.com 2FA security

    – I like to use the iOS App Authy to generate my 2FA codes. The reason is, that if you use the Google Authenticator, then when you get a new phone you have to set up all of your accounts again. Authy allows you to have your codes on multiple devices and you can find your 6 digit code on your Apple Watch.
    – I take my online security very seriously and every Friday, I update 10 of my online account and create a new password. 1Password has a feature to show you the oldest passwords, so I just work thru the oldest ones and I’ll never keep the same password for more than a year.

    Thanks so much and I hope everyone listening takes and implements your advice!

  • Dustin, I thought the same thing about Google Authenticator. I wished there was some sort of backup or something. I will look into the Authy app that you mentioned.

    As for JetPack, My thoughts have been that this plugin seems to be a bit bloated, one of those plugins that tries to do everything rolled into a single plugin.

  • Dustin Hartzler

    The code has changed a ton in the last few years when Jetpack was a bit on the bloated side. I use it on all of my site and see no performance hit.

    See you in Dallas!

  • Hi Cliff, thanks for the great, informative episode! I’ve been pretty security conscious for a long time, but you have me strongly considering 2FA, especially on e-mail. However, I’m kind of curious how that works with something like Gmail and various email clients or apps that access via IMAP. Do these email apps or clients have to support 2FA (usually they just have a place to put in user/pass info… and they connect lots of times every day)?

    Also, while I have tried (and own) 1Password, I still prefer an app called PasswordWallet by Selznick software. I’ve been using it since my Palm days, and prefer the compact interface and especially it’s ‘auto-type’ feature, which lets me use it with non-browser apps.

    But, I’d recommend a solution that stores the data locally, where you can manage that encrypted file. You want to be in full control of that data. Make archives of it often… once you start using a password manager, you DO NOT want something to go wring… like data corruption, etc. Don’y rely on backup systems that eventually overwrite. You want to be able to go back to your, say, February 2009 copy of it if you ever need to.

  • Thanks for the tip about Authy, Dustin. I just downloaded it. 🙂

    I’m thinking about that practice of changing passwords though. If you use a good strong (random) password for each site/service, then each one is independent anyway, giving no clues away about any others. So, does changing it every so often accomplish anything? The only thing I can think of, is if there is a breach of that particular service, and you never hear about it, maybe you cut off someone actively using your account (if they didn’t change your password).

  • Steve, on my computer, I only use the web browser version of Gmail. Though I also use the iOS Mail App. It doesn’t seem to have any issues with working with Gmail’s IMAP functionality. I don’t have to sign in all the time. I have my iPhone listed as a “Trusted Device”

  • Thanks Cliff, I’m going to have to give it a try. I rarely use the browser version, but if it works with iOS Mail, then the ‘trusted device’ aspect must do it. 🙂

  • Dustin Hartzler

    Hey Steve, those are the exact reasons that I change my passwords regularly 🙂

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