Instagram Account Security

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Facebook, and how to make your Facebook Account more secure.  You should be doing the same thing with your Instagram account!  Here are some suggestions to make your Instagram account more secure.

First – Change Your Password!Instagram Account Security

I know I’ve said this before.  (You’re tired of hearing me say this, aren’t you?)   You should change your password on all of your banking, social media, email, etc. accounts at least once a month.  Ideally, you should use a different password for each account.  You should also use a password that contains upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Check out my tips from last weeks blog.  If you think your account may have been hacked, you should change your password right away.  (By the way, I use a password protected document to keep track of my passwords.)

Make your Instagram Account Private:

From Instagram: “When your account is private, only people you approve can see your photos and videos on Instagram.  Your existing followers won’t be affected.”  Essentially this means that your account will be shared with friends only.  If your Instagram Account is not set to Private, every post can be viewed by anyone.  So, for my personal account, I have it set to private.  For my business account, it is all public.  Remember, if you choose to un-follow someone, they will no longer be able to see your posts or other information.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication:

Two-factor authentication makes any account that you log into more secure.  Many banks require two-factor authentication.  When you enable 2FA on your Instagram Account, Instagram will send you a code to you via text or email that you will need to enter in order to access your account.  Generally, once you have logged into your account from a specific device, you won’t need to do the 2FA thing again, unless you log out.

What did I forget?  How do you keep your Instagram Account as secure as it can be?

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you check it out.)

Password Tips For More Secure Banking, Social Media

It seems like recently all I’ve done is advised people to change their passwords.  Friends have had their Messenger hacked, other friends are sending out spam emails.  Here’s the official Geek For Hire word on the subject:  You Can’t Change Your Passwords Too Frequently!  So, the big question is – how do you pick a good password?   We have several tips to follow here.

Whatever you do, don’t use any of these passwords!Common Password ListFirst, don’t make the password too easy to guess.  We like the recommendations in this Lifewire article.  Their first step is to pick a favorite phrase and turn it into an acronym.  Here are some examples from their article:

  • “You know nothing, Jon Snow: yknjs
  • Can’t See the Forest Through the Trees:  cstfttt
  • If the Shoe Fits, Wear It:  itsfwi
  • The Last Mile Is Always Uphill: tlmiau
  • Honey Badger Doesn’t Care: hbdc

Passwords should be AT LEAST eight (8) characters long and those are all to short.  You could use something like:

“The Quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” or tqbfjotld which is nine characters.

The next tip is use letters, numbers, and special characters.  A study done a few years ago estimated that a password with six alphanumeric characters would take a computer 103 years to crack.  Eight characters, including special characters like “@”, “%”, and “#”, would make it that much harder, and take much longer, to crack.

My recommendation for a good password?

Take a favorite phrase and turn it into an acronym:

“So long, and thanks for all the fish”  =  “slatfatf”

Then, add a capital letter, a number, and a special character so that

“slatfatf” becomes “S1@tFatf”

Longer is always better.  If the website allows you to use more than eight characters, please do!

You could then add “Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” or hgttg” to the end (or beginning) of “slatfatf”.  Your password could then become “S1@tFatf*hGttG”

Play with different passwords that will work for you and keep them in a password protected document on your computer or in the “cloud”.  Another trick I use is to type the new password into my (password protected) document, then I’ll copy and paste it into the password field of the website I am accessing.  That way I’ll be sure not to have any typos.

One final word from David Balaban, computer security expert, as quoted in Business.com:

It is recommended to use the longest possible passwords that online services allow and leverage a reputable password management solution to store them. Furthermore, you should safeguard the vault with a master passphrase that’s about 30 characters long. Make sure it’s not a quote from a novel or anything that can be found on the internet. Importantly, all of your passwords should be generated randomly and make little sense, or no sense at all. If you can remember it and tell it to someone, it’s not a good password.”

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you check it out.)

Facebook Account – Has Yours Been Hacked?

I read an article recently about how to find out if someone in a different location was logged into your Facebook account.  I followed the steps and saw that someone in Dallas was logged into my account!  Whoa!  I logged out of the devices in those locations pretty quickly.

There are several steps to follow to see if someone has hacked into your Facebook account.

First thing to check on your Facebook account:Facebook Account

The first thing you want to do is to determine if you are logged into your Facebook account from odd locations.  To check this, click on “Settings” and then on “Security and Login”.  That screen will tell you all the places (and devices) that you are logged in.  If something seems odd, then log out of that location.

Second thing:

Check your birthday and email to make sure they haven’t been changed.  If they have been changed, change them back and then immediately.

Also, has anyone told you they received a second friend request from you? Or are there messages that have been sent, but not sent by you?  Again, this is a good time to change your password and notify your friends not to open a recent private message from you.  You should also notify Facebook that your account may be compromised.

You should also:

Now is a good time to change your password as well.  It’s on the same screen as “Security and Login”.  Click on “Change Password”, and choose a secure one!  Here are some tips for creating a strong password.

Lastly:

Bump up your security settings.  Ask Facebook to send you an alert when someone tries to log into your account.  Now is also a good time to set up Two-Factor Authentication.  You can access both of those settings from the same “Security and Login” screen.

If this info was helpful, please forward it to your friends!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you check it out.)

Co-Working Space – Things to consider

More and more people are starting small at-home businesses to share their passion with others or simply to supplement their regular income.  The newest term for this is “side-hustle”.   One problem is needing space to work without taking over too much of your dining room, or bedroom, or the coffee table in the living room!  A solution many people use is to head to a coffee shop.  But that doesn’t always fit the bill.  It’s sometimes noisy with conversation, or (gasp!) coffee grinding. The WiFi may be choppy, or you may only be allowed to use it for a defined period of time.  Another option is to find a co-working space.   A co-working space provides a place to work outside of your home.  It generally is quiet, plenty of desk space, and good WiFi. They may even offer access to a printer, coffee, and snacks.

I recently joined a co-working space and I am thrilled.  Sure, I have a separate office at home, but sometimes my office space is not conducive to the work I have to do.  I noticed a year or so ago, that for certain tasks I was more productive outside of my home office.  But the nearby coffee shops just were not cutting it for me. When I heard about a local co-working space, I checked it out and signed up that day.

Here are some things you should look for in a co-working space:

WiFi:

co-working space wifi

Yeah, that’s fast WiFi!

Is the WiFi fast and consistent?  Ask them what kind technology they use and what their bandwidth is.  (Bandwidth = how many people can use the WiFi at the same time without noticing a slowdown.)  Mine has a T1 installed so it is super-fast, and even if the space is full, not likely to run into slowdowns.

Printer:

Do they have a printer available for you to use?  What is the charge per page? Or are there a certain number of pages you can print for free? Is it color or black & white? Front & back, or one side only?

The space:

Is it clean? Is there natural light? (Mine has plenty of windows, but all on the north side of the building.  I don’t expect it to get too hot in the summer.)   Is there a choice of places to work?  For example, regular desks, standing desks, counter areas, etc.  Everyone works best in different configurations! If you do use a chair, are they comfortable and supportive?

The Perks:

Is there coffee available? Is it good coffee?! Tea? Other snacks?

Green:

Are the owners or managers conscious of the environment?  Does the space use alternative energy – solar or wind? At a minimum, is there a place to recycle paper?  If they have beverages available, what kind of cups do they provide? Styrofoam? Compostable? Mugs and glasses?

What kinds of amenities are important in your co-working space?

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you check it out.)