In recent years, the Monday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as Cyber Monday, the day on which many people shop online to get holiday bargains. According to the National Retail Federation, 56.5% of holiday shoppers will be making their purchases on line either through their computer, smartphone or other electronic device.
Hackers and identity thieves are always on the prowl trying to lure people into providing their usernames and passwords for their various accounts in order to use that information for purposes of identity theft. A strong password is essential for cybersecurity, but it is not enough to keep you safe. In addition to a unique password for every online account with which you do business, such as your bank account or an often frequented shopping website, you should also use enhanced authentication to provide further protection particularly in the event that your password is compromised.
There are essentially three types of enhanced authentication from which you can choose to provide greater cybersecurity than merely using a password. The first is a biometric such as your fingerprint that can be used to confirm your identity when accessing a particular account. The second is a one time code that is sent to your smart phone as a text message each time you attempt to log into one of your online accounts. In order to access your account, you must include this one time code. The third form of enhanced security is a security key, which is a small device that can fit on your key chain and is inserted into a USB port on the device you are using to access your online account to confirm that it is you that is attempting to gain access to your account. All of these methods can work well and some people will even use more than one in conjunction for greater security.