How To Se­cure Your Dig­i­Tal life

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - INDULGE -

YOUR PHONE, tablet and lap­top know more about your life than you ever will. To un­der­stand that bet­ter do a small ex­per­i­ment. Do a quick scroll through all your pic­tures start­ing with the old­est ones; now do a search of all your pri­vate emails with the word ‘ im­por­tant’ and check their con­tent, check how many pass­words, ATM pins, on­line trans­ac­tion codes and other such info you’ve jot­ted down as notes on your phone. Shocked? Well, it con­sti­tutes just one per cent of all the pieces that make up your dig­i­tal life.

Now think of all that in­for­ma­tion freely avail­able to un­known peo­ple. Peo­ple who could suck all that away from If you only use What­sApp, iMes­sage or Sig­nal for mes­sag­ing, you’re good as they’ve pretty much en­crypted it all. If you use other mes­sag­ing sys­tems, then it’s time to en­able en­cryp­tion there. Face­book mes­sen­ger, Allo and a few oth­ers need en­cryp­tion to be turned on, so do it right away. If you use some­thing that doesn’t have en­cryp­tion as an op­tion, get off it now!


Two-step au­then­ti­ca­tion may well be the great­est saviour known to dig­i­tal mankind. It’s when you lo­gin, en­ter a pass­word and the ser­vice sends a in­stantly gen­er­ated sec­ond code to your phone. Al­most ev­ery good email ser­vice like Gmail, Ya­hoo and Out­look has it. Al­most any dig­i­tal ser­vice you use that has im­por­tant per­sonal in­for­ma­tion has it too, all you need to do is to en­able it.


Nope, it’s not the incog­nito mode in Chrome and nope I’m not ask­ing you to switch to Tor (the onion router). While Tor may well be the fi­nal so­lu­tion to anony­mous brows­ing, it’s not a very good user ex­pe­ri­ence right now. The sim­plest way to achieve safety in brows­ing is to use a browser plug in called HTTPS ev­ery­where. It’s the best way to en­crypt most of what you do on the web and also thwarts hack­ing. Look it up, it’s avail­able for al­most all the browsers. The last part of this is a com­bi­na­tion of a few things. Make sure that your Wi-Fi router at home has dou­ble pro­tec­tion. A strong pass­word for ac­cess­ing the router it­self as well as the mo­dem and an even more strong pass­word for ac­cess­ing the Wi-Fi sig­nal. Close to 99 per cent of all house­hold routers have the de­fault pass­word ‘ad­min’ and that makes it re­ally easy for any­one to ac­cess all your set­tings. And fi­nally en­crypt the hard-drive of your com­puter. Both MacOS and Win­dows have it built in as an sim­ple op­tion. Do it now!

Most of these steps need to be done just once and most of the fol­low-ups don’t need any sig­nif­i­cant time and ef­fort. The pay­off is mas­sive! Un­less you want all your de­vices locked down by some kid called iowny­ounow, it’s time to take your dig­i­tal safety into your own hands.

In­cred­I­Ble But true The most com­mon pass­word in the world is the word ‘pass­word’

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