Online Security: Something for Everyone

online security

With the recent hubbub around the breach of Sony PlayStation user accounts, there have been several posts popping up about how to set up better online security. As more of us are opting to shift our lives online — whether it be to cloud-based sharing and file storage, or using location based apps such as Foursquare or Facebook places, we should make sure we understand what is at risk and ensure that we take steps to protect our information.

Alex Wawro of PC World recently wrote a story about “How to Build Better Passwords Without Losing Your Mind.” I know that some of the terribly simple passwords that I came up with in high school are still the only barrier to accessing some of my online accounts. But with so many places and so many passwords, how is one to keep track of them all?

Luckily, Alex shares a couple of password management programs as well as how to create a sort of “skeleton key-phrase” that can be customized for a number of different sites. He not only provides tips on how to manage multiple passwords, but also how to ensure security.

Also, the privacy commission of Canada recently released an in-depth questionnaire to help small to medium size businesses to evaluate their online security.

The tool involves answering dozens of yes or no questions in an online form that’s divided up into 17 sections, each a deep dive into of security policy areas including network security, access control, incident management, and database security. Organizations can opt to do a complete assessment, or dive into a subset of questions that addresses specific needs.

Given the number of organizations that have my basic information — and the number of spam emails that I get each day, I would encourage any organization responsible for the management of private information to give this a look.