3 Golden Rules of Cybersecurity | Altify Blog

The biggest cybersecurity mistake most people make is thinking that they will never fall victim to cybercrime. 

Knowing some cybersecurity basics and putting them into practice will help you keep your personal information and crypto investments safe. 

At the heart of online security is the concept of Identity. Similar to how you must provide a passport or an ID card to validate your identity at the bank or at the airport, you need to prove that you are who you say you are online. 

In order for a computer to verify that you are the owner of that online identity, you'll need to provide proof in the form of a password. 

The moment a valid email address and password combination is entered into a computer, that computer will assume that it is the rightful owner accessing the account. It is therefore imperative that you keep your passwords safe.

Passwords and password management

As you now know, if anyone has your email address and password combination, they can get access to your online account/s. Therefore, the first golden rule with password management is never to share your passwords. It has to be emphasised that writing your password down in a diary or on a sticky note is just as bad as giving that password to a stranger. 

The second golden rule is never to use the same password more than once. Consider for a second that you have 20 online accounts, all of which have the same email and password combination. If one of these online accounts gets compromised, you can then assume that all of them are compromised. 

Computers are ever-evolving and getting stronger every day. In what we call a brute force attack, a computer will essentially create a logical sequence of passwords and try each one until it guesses the correct one. A computer with a lot of computing power can quickly run through many passwords, which leads us to golden rule number 3, use strong passwords. 

A strong password should consist of at least 20 characters (the more the merrier) and should contain a random sequence of:

  • UPPERCASE & lowercase letters
  • Numbers
  • Symbols

Never use personal information such as loved ones' names (yes this includes your pets), anniversary/birthdates, cell numbers etc. An attacker can feed your personal information to the hacking machine, making it easier for the machine to logically guess your password. 

To successfully implement these rules, you will have to make use of a password manager. There is an abundance of free and paid-for password managers out there. When setting up a password manager, be sure to create a strong and unique new password that you will remember — this will be the only password you need to remember from now on. After setting up a password manager, you can randomly generate passwords and associate them with each of your online accounts. Think of this as a password wallet.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

The days of trusting passwords alone (single-factor authentication) are long gone. MFA is a security control that requires you to verify your identity by providing multiple pieces of evidence before granting you access to your accounts.

These multiple pieces of evidence are usually made up of three elements. 

  1. Something you know — passwords or challenge questions
  2. Something you have — a one-time password or an authentication code
  3. Something unique — this could be something completely unique to you, such as a fingerprint, retina scan or facial recognition. 

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is currently the most common form of MFA, and as the name suggests, it makes use of 2 of the abovementioned elements.

Enable 2FA on your Altify account here! 

You can activate this by logging in, and clicking on "Profile" in the main menu, then click on ‘Enable’ next to your 2FA status and follow the onscreen prompts.

One-Time Pin (OTP)

One-time pins (OTPs) are randomly generated pins/codes that get sent to you via email or SMS. These codes are usually only valid for a few minutes and need to be entered to prove that you are indeed the owner of the account. 

We’ve added OTPs to the Altify platform as an additional layer of security - Enable OTP here! 

When OTP is enabled on your account, you will be required to enter OTPs when withdrawing funds or making changes to your personal information, banking details, and wallet addresses. 

What Can I Do To Protect My Altify Account?

Cyber-criminals never sleep - they are always looking to grab your hard-earned satoshis. 

While we have a myriad of security-focused events and services that run in the background, you can help us to protect your account.

  • Enabling 2FA will make it much harder for criminals to gain access to your account. 
  • Enabling OTP adds an additional layer of security, making it harder for criminals to remove funds from your account.

Other Important Basics

This almost goes without saying, but physical security is your first frontier against cyber theft. Be sure to always lock your devices away in a safe place. It is easier to gain access to accounts through ‘trusted devices’ — let's not make it easier for them. 

Keep software up to date

Software developers create updates regularly to ‘patch’ known vulnerabilities in their software. Hackers can easily exploit these vulnerabilities if you don’t have the latest updates installed — if you don’t want to miss the update, enable automatic updates.

Public Wi-Fi is not safe

Wifi provided by coffee shops, restaurants, shared office spaces or in any public spaces are considered very unsafe. Never access any financial services when connected to these networks - this includes online shopping, banking or your Altify account.

Always use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing public networks. If you are uncomfortable with setting up a VPN, use your mobile data by activating your smartphone’s hotspot (make sure you have a strong password enabled though). 

Be mindful

Never give your information to people on the internet or over the phone. There will never be a situation where you have to give your login credentials to any person. Even when consulting with support personnel, they will never ask for your passwords or one-time pins. 

Always remember, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

3 Golden Rules of Cybersecurity | Altify Blog

Braam Botha

Published

September 20, 2022

By 

Braam Botha

The biggest cybersecurity mistake most people make is thinking that they will never fall victim to cybercrime. 

Knowing some cybersecurity basics and putting them into practice will help you keep your personal information and crypto investments safe. 

At the heart of online security is the concept of Identity. Similar to how you must provide a passport or an ID card to validate your identity at the bank or at the airport, you need to prove that you are who you say you are online. 

In order for a computer to verify that you are the owner of that online identity, you'll need to provide proof in the form of a password. 

The moment a valid email address and password combination is entered into a computer, that computer will assume that it is the rightful owner accessing the account. It is therefore imperative that you keep your passwords safe.

Passwords and password management

As you now know, if anyone has your email address and password combination, they can get access to your online account/s. Therefore, the first golden rule with password management is never to share your passwords. It has to be emphasised that writing your password down in a diary or on a sticky note is just as bad as giving that password to a stranger. 

The second golden rule is never to use the same password more than once. Consider for a second that you have 20 online accounts, all of which have the same email and password combination. If one of these online accounts gets compromised, you can then assume that all of them are compromised. 

Computers are ever-evolving and getting stronger every day. In what we call a brute force attack, a computer will essentially create a logical sequence of passwords and try each one until it guesses the correct one. A computer with a lot of computing power can quickly run through many passwords, which leads us to golden rule number 3, use strong passwords. 

A strong password should consist of at least 20 characters (the more the merrier) and should contain a random sequence of:

  • UPPERCASE & lowercase letters
  • Numbers
  • Symbols

Never use personal information such as loved ones' names (yes this includes your pets), anniversary/birthdates, cell numbers etc. An attacker can feed your personal information to the hacking machine, making it easier for the machine to logically guess your password. 

To successfully implement these rules, you will have to make use of a password manager. There is an abundance of free and paid-for password managers out there. When setting up a password manager, be sure to create a strong and unique new password that you will remember — this will be the only password you need to remember from now on. After setting up a password manager, you can randomly generate passwords and associate them with each of your online accounts. Think of this as a password wallet.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

The days of trusting passwords alone (single-factor authentication) are long gone. MFA is a security control that requires you to verify your identity by providing multiple pieces of evidence before granting you access to your accounts.

These multiple pieces of evidence are usually made up of three elements. 

  1. Something you know — passwords or challenge questions
  2. Something you have — a one-time password or an authentication code
  3. Something unique — this could be something completely unique to you, such as a fingerprint, retina scan or facial recognition. 

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is currently the most common form of MFA, and as the name suggests, it makes use of 2 of the abovementioned elements.

Enable 2FA on your Altify account here! 

You can activate this by logging in, and clicking on "Profile" in the main menu, then click on ‘Enable’ next to your 2FA status and follow the onscreen prompts.

One-Time Pin (OTP)

One-time pins (OTPs) are randomly generated pins/codes that get sent to you via email or SMS. These codes are usually only valid for a few minutes and need to be entered to prove that you are indeed the owner of the account. 

We’ve added OTPs to the Altify platform as an additional layer of security - Enable OTP here! 

When OTP is enabled on your account, you will be required to enter OTPs when withdrawing funds or making changes to your personal information, banking details, and wallet addresses. 

What Can I Do To Protect My Altify Account?

Cyber-criminals never sleep - they are always looking to grab your hard-earned satoshis. 

While we have a myriad of security-focused events and services that run in the background, you can help us to protect your account.

  • Enabling 2FA will make it much harder for criminals to gain access to your account. 
  • Enabling OTP adds an additional layer of security, making it harder for criminals to remove funds from your account.

Other Important Basics

This almost goes without saying, but physical security is your first frontier against cyber theft. Be sure to always lock your devices away in a safe place. It is easier to gain access to accounts through ‘trusted devices’ — let's not make it easier for them. 

Keep software up to date

Software developers create updates regularly to ‘patch’ known vulnerabilities in their software. Hackers can easily exploit these vulnerabilities if you don’t have the latest updates installed — if you don’t want to miss the update, enable automatic updates.

Public Wi-Fi is not safe

Wifi provided by coffee shops, restaurants, shared office spaces or in any public spaces are considered very unsafe. Never access any financial services when connected to these networks - this includes online shopping, banking or your Altify account.

Always use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing public networks. If you are uncomfortable with setting up a VPN, use your mobile data by activating your smartphone’s hotspot (make sure you have a strong password enabled though). 

Be mindful

Never give your information to people on the internet or over the phone. There will never be a situation where you have to give your login credentials to any person. Even when consulting with support personnel, they will never ask for your passwords or one-time pins. 

Always remember, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

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