The Internet can be an upside down, sideways kind of place when your own Reputation is at stake. Topsy-turvy doesn't even begin to cut it when your personal cyber security has been breached, leading to a reputation loss, disaster or ongoing problems.
2016 has shown how vulnerable every person who uses the internet, social media, online banking, email, websites, mobile apps and even IoT devices. Almost daily we hear about this company or that corporation getting hacked, even government agencies. But how often do you think about your own personal digital space? Your online reputation? Your personal cyber security with regard to online banking, social media, emails, and all the other information you are generating?
The current popular mythology that most hacking of reputations is caused because of 3rd party cyber breaches or loss of information not in the control directly of each person. While this is a big driver, there is an equally big driver of small players, disgruntled individuals, and just plain mean people.
These nasty people who delight in doxxing people, in revealing what was previously not revealed, and at the higher levels, ex spouses, former business partners, parties in lawsuits, and even corporate trolls can take down someone's reputation, often hard earned over years, in a matter of seconds.
Digijaks CEO Alan W. Silberberg has written often on, and gives speeches about the crucial link between personal cyber security, social media and search.
Most people think they are just sitting ducks, waiting around till some hacker or some angry person goes after them, and then will deal with it after the fact.
This is 100% the wrong approach. You need to be pro-active, and this is true for your reputation, that of your business, and that of your family all at the same time.
Below are some simple steps to protect your own reputation online and simultaneously practice good personal cyber security hygiene.
- Own two cellphones. One on a carrier plan, and pre-paid burner phone. The reason is to separate important login information from your main email account and phone and have a second way to authenticate with two factor authentication. This helps to prevent the trap of one phone, one email, multiple two-factor authentications flowing to them. If the one device gets compromised so does your whole life. With two combined with strategically breaking it up; it becomes much harder for a criminal or bad actor to mess up your entire life all at once.
- Use two factor authentication on email, online banking, important logins like Apple or Google or Microsoft or Yahoo or Paypal etc.
- Separate the financial and other important information and create a second email address and use a pre - paid burner phone to keep the important two factor authentication requests separate from those for social media, or Iot devices.
- Own your own name. Buy a domain name in your name, lock it down so it cannot be transferred without your approval.
- Own your own name. Register on social media in your own name, and use the accounts at least semi regularly.
- Set up google alerts in your name, in the name of your family and business. This will automatically alert you when your name pops up in search. This helps to have early notification of what may be an indicator of something being wrong.
- Be 100% assured that if you are in a legal action, or a dispute, that the other parties can and will try to harm you with release of information.
- Be 100% assured that if you are in a high profile job, position, or have been in the media recently, that someone, somewhere is trying to figure out how to get money from you, to embarrass you, or even stop you.
- The reality of the ever on 24×7 digital world we are find ourselves occupying in 2016 is it really is just a matter of when, and not if, something is going to happen. It may be a hack of a 3rd party who has your information, or it may be someone deciding to take you down a notch or several. It is not if, but when.