Online Security: Easy, Common Sense, Precautions

Updated 9/10/2018, 10/10/2018, 1/23/2020

I read a headline today stating that Podesta’s password was “password”.  How STUPID!  In 2016, when his email was hacked, this was UNFORGIVABLY STUPID.  And look what happened.

I have given some tips in the past in this blog, and today, I will re-iterate a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from online hacks in 2017 2018 2020. (Or at least those hackers who are lazy…..I am pretty sure a persistent pro can get in just about anywhere sooner or later).

Here are 5 steps you can use to protect yourself and your online accounts.

+++++ 1. Two Step Authentication+++++

Setting up Two Step Authentication is pretty easy in 2017 2018 2020 and, I would think it provides relatively good protection.

What you do is add your cell phone number to your online access protection. If a hacker tries to get into your account (even if they know your password), but, the location of the access is not recognized (for example a computer or smartphone in Los Angeles when all my access is in Tracy), the provider of your online services will text your cell phone with an access code.

The hacker, or would be hacker, will not get that text and will be thwarted…..and you will be alerted to the fact that someone is trying to get into your account.

It is easy to set up two step authentication, and I believe it can provide decent protection.

+++++ 2. NEVER Click on Emailed Links and enter your login and password……NEVER, EVER+++++

DO NOT CLICK ON Emailed links and then enter your login and password….NEVER.

DO NOT CLICK ON Emailed links and then enter your login and password….NEVER.

And if you do click on a link….DO NOT GIVE any site you clicked into, via your email, your login and password. TRUST NO ONE!

If you have any questions about your service….log out of your email, then connect separately to your service provider via your browser.

Chances are you are fine, and the hacker in the email just wanted to grab your information (I just had that phishing attempt happen to me for a PayPal account….I followed my rules and everything was fine….the email was just some hacker trying to get into my account).  Again, Podesta was an idiot because, according to a report I read, he clicked on an unknown emailed link and then gave them the keys (login and password) to his accounts along with access to his computer.

Also…..Ignore shortened links completely ( as you have no way of knowing where they lead.

Did you click on that link?  NO!!!!!!  Arrrrghh…..  But a donation would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

+++++3. Use a Difficult Password+++++

Using “password” as your password is just plain stupid. Using p@$$w0rd29 is better.

But, hey, think of something original and difficult to guess. Mix small and capital letters, symbols, and numbers and words.  “Blaze” is pretty guessable for my password, so, I don’t use it!  bLaZe is more difficult….Bl@zee#2 even more difficult…..but, still not good enough. BlazeisAnEngineer!!# might actually be good.  🙂

Again….NEVER give your login and password to an emailed link.


+++++4. Don’t Use Unprotected / Open Wifi in Public Places+++++

Use your cell phone data instead, but, if you do use public / open WiFi….do NOT do online banking (or write top secret documents)….wait until you get home, on your password protected WiFi.

Update: 1/23/2020: You can set your phone up to be your own little “hotspot” for your laptop. Then password protect it as per the instructions above. NEVER log into a hotspot you don’t recognize. NEVER login to a free WiFi you are not absolutely sure is a safe connection.

Also in 2020, NEVER leave your laptop unattended or easy to swipe off the table.

+++++5. NEW: Google Titan Security Dongle (Updated 9/10/2018)+++++

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away……we tested a security dongle at LLNL which worked like this new, $50, Google Titan Security Dongle.

This device makes it pretty much impossible for a hacker to get into your accounts.


Because this dongle changes access codes every few seconds and the would be hacker would have zero idea what the code is now……or now………or now.

Here is a screenshot of the device (on the person’s keychain) you can purchase at Google Store. 

security dongle on keychain


The world can change based on the ease of access to your online accounts…..protect yourself as much as you can.

THINK and TRUST NO ONE and you have a better chance of being left alone.

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