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Security Tips from a Real Life Hacker

April 24, 2022

There is a new security leak every other day, one often bigger than the previous one. With every new issue there are lots of security tips and tricks – after all, one wants to be safe in the future. But have you ever wondered what an actual white hat hacker has to say about your online security?

In an article from the Huffington Post, white hat hacker Stephanie Carruthers, aka Snow, was interviewed – and she had some pretty clear security tips on what to do online and where to be extra careful.

Take care what images you post online

Instagram, Facebook, and all the other networks that allow you share great moments of your life with friends and family are fantastic to stay in touch with your loved ones. But in the spur of the moment, some people post images impulsively, without thinking, and most likely also without understanding the risks involved. Here’s what not to post:

Your driver’s license

No matter how proud you are that you are finally allowed on the road: don’t share a close-up of it. Too much information is presented on the little card, including your full name, your date of birth, and –in some countries – your home address.

Keys

People posing in front of their new home, all the while geo-tagging it and holding their new key to the cam is an absolute no-go. Why? Recreating a key from a photo is something that can be easily done nowadays, without needing special equipment or even know-how. If you let people also know where you live via geo-tagging it … well, let’s say it’s not an ideal situation.

Employees in their work environment

Office selfies have already caused much trouble in the past. Depending on what kind of work environment one is working in, confidential information could make it into such an image – passwords taped to some computer screen are just the (obvious) tip if the iceberg. So, if you want to take a selfie at work, make sure you know what’s in the background.

Other tips

Stephanie Carruthers also had some advice on other topics like social media and passwords:

  • Think before posting on a social network. Make sure the information you are about to share is something you really, really want out there. 
  • Use a Password Manager.
  • Get creative when asked for common security questions. Someone trying to access your account might know more about you than you’d like. Carruthers suggests that instead of filling in your mother’s maiden name truthfully, just use something like “Nutella” or “Disneyland”. 
  • Two-factor authentication is golden. Use it whenever it is offered.

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