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4 Steps to Secure Your Device


4 Steps to Secure Your Device

At Civic, life is digital. We are a modern credit union that combines technology and people to help you build wealth. As a digital organization, your security is our priority. We are constantly focused on keeping your accounts safe. As an extra layer of security and to maintain the most secure environment for your account activity, it is important for you to secure any device you use to access your Civic accounts.

Here are four steps to help you secure your devices.

Step One: Passwords are still important basics

Choosing a strong passphrase for your laptop starts with a minimum of 15 characters. It’s best to use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to create a phrase that is unique, yet memorable. Admittedly, a unique, 15-character or longer password could be difficult to remember for each of your online accounts. That’s where a reputable password manager software can help. Password managers allow you to create and save a different random, yet solid, password for all of your online accounts. This way it’s easier to remember or recover a single password.

To keep your mobile device safe, set your phone to erase itself after 10 failed logon attempts. Next, a six- to eight-digit passcode is good for your mobile device as long as it isn't something easy to guess like important dates, an address or phone number related to you. Biometrics, such as facial recognition or a fingerprint, can be used for ease of access.

Step Two: The next layer of basic protection

When available, use two-factor authentication (2FA) to further help protect your identity and your accounts. This extra layer of security combines a username and password (or a biometric security feature like a facial scan or fingerprint) with a second factor only you have access to. The second factor could be a one-time passcode delivered via text message; a push notification to a mobile device; or a code generator app.

In addition, it’s just as important to keep the device’s operating system up to date. That means downloading all manufacturer updates as they become available.

Step Three: Security for your trackers and wearables

There are some additional security tips to consider for wearables. When you’re shopping for your device, consider how the manufacturer protects your information as well as how it meets your needs. Avoid storing personal or financial information like a Social Security number, financial account numbers or credit cards on a wearable device. Remember to protect your device with biometric security such as face or fingerprint recognition.

Step Four: Keep your connected home devices secure, too

Life is truly digital. We have moved from using a single device to having devices connected to each other, and communicating data between them. This is known as the Internet of Things (IoT) as more household appliances like refrigerators and thermostats become smart.

That’s a lot of devices collecting and sharing information. So, don’t forget to secure your smart home devices. This way you’re only sharing what you want to be known about you. And you’re making it harder for hackers to access and misuse your information.

These safety measures can help protect it all:

  • Change your default login credentials to something you’ll remember
  • Keep software up to date
  • Know what data is being collected and how it will be used (read that privacy policy)
  • Understand the tasks the device is designed for and limit the access to your data on a ‘need to know’ basis (does a smart thermometer need to have access to your contacts?)

Keeping your devices secure will add to the on-going security activities by Civic to keep your data and accounts safe and secure.