1. Be suspicious of emails & phone calls.  We trust others too much – and bad guys take advantage of that. 
  2. Avoid clicking on email attachments & links - even from people you trust - since their account could have been hacked.  Check the FROM address.  When in doubt CALL the sender or just delete the email.
  3. Watch for anything fake (i.e., misspelled website names - it could simply be misspelled by ONE letter!)
  4. When in doubt get help from someone trusted!
  5. Disconnect a suspected compromised device or turn it off as soon as possible.
  6. Use long passwords, phrases or non-sensical sentences.
  7. Never keep a password list in Word, Email, XL or other.  ONLY STORE PASSWORDS in an encrypted password management tool.
  8. Change default passwords on everything: cameras, refrigerators, laptops, smartphones etc. 
  9. Reset your passwords if you suspect they are compromised.  Reset your password if you EVER share it for ANY account.
  10. Never share your credit-card, bank routing number or social security numbers.
  11. Secure your IRS and Social Security Accounts.
  12. Don’t use Debit card or echecks to buy anything online.  DO use a Credit Card, PayPal or One time Cash Credit card.  Only buy from trusted websites.
  13. Consider $1mil in identity Insurance from: IdentityGuard, CostCo (CompleteID), LifeLock, or IdentityDefense.  Be sure it covers $1mil in insurance (what if they sell your house and buy another house and leave you holding the debt?)
  14. Plan to be hacked.  Do you have all the info you need to cancel accounts and reset passwords without your computer or phone?
  15. Update/Patch everything - cameras, refrigerators, laptops, smartphones - they all need software updates.
  16. Turn on Two Factor (Two Step) Login wherever you can.
  17. Don’t use unsecure WiFi unless you use always on VPN.
  18. Create separate emails for junk, banking and social interaction.
  19. Consider DNS Security.  Add OpenDNS or Quad9 on your home firewall (both are free for home use).
  20. Back Up your data.  Use a USB drive and/or services like: Acronis, iDrive, BackBlaze or Carbonite.
  21. Destroy or fully wipe data on any device you are returning, throwing away or donating.
  22. Secure every smartphone – add a pin/password and turn off geotagging, only use secure wifi.  Don’t install suspicious apps.
  23. Install Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware on Android devices and PCs
  24. Watch out for Malicious SMS/MMS smartphone text messages with links.
  25. Avoid sharing personal information on social media that could match security challenge questions.  Don’t share trip information online - thieves can use it to know when to break in while you are away.
  26. Help others stay safe online!