002: Does privacy matter to you?

Privacy is vital in our lives. We demand it in many ways. We lock our house and car doors. Close the blinds. Close the bathroom door. Put passcodes on our phones.

We seek privacy in many areas of our life, but when it comes to tech, it's the opposite. If you're following the mainstream and don't take time to learn how to privatize your digital life, you're naked in the tech space. And that should worry you.

The internet is where much of our digital lives are recorded.. and permanently stored. When you take a step back and look at what you post, like, search for, subscribe to, etc is public domain. Anyone can see it. Anyone can save it. Your family. Friends. Current/future employer. Government. Strangers across the globe.

So we close our blinds, doors, have passcodes on our phones. But why don't you do the same for apps on your phone? Email? Social Media? Texting? Photos? I'd argue you're a hypocrite if you lock your phone with a passcode but send all your communication over snapchat, upload all your photos to Google, and share all your thoughts on Twitter. Why have a passcode? Everything you're thinking and doing is posted to the world.

Ask yourself what apps are on your phone? Are they free? You're the product then (in most cases). Are you using popular services/apps like Facebook, TikTok, Whatsapp? If it's free and convenient, it's likely not a good thing for your privacy (unfortunately).

Tech can be intimidating, like anything, and being aware of what data you're freely giving out hides in the background, so I understand that people do not know. But, even if you it isn't an interest to you, I think it's important you learn about it because most have their lives on their phones. Photos. Texts. Emails. Other sensitive data. If you're gonna hand over your data and your life to something, wouldn't you want to know how it works and to do it properly (securely and private)?

001: You need a password manager

Do you use the internet?

Do you have multiple accounts?

If you do, then you should be using a password manager!

A password manager allows you to save all your accounts' credentials in one location. Also, it's able to create strong, complex, and unique passwords, which increases your security across your online accounts.

Most people use the same password, or a derivative of the same one, across all their accounts. You'd be surprised how many accounts you actually have when you factor in email, shopping, social media, bills, streaming, etc. And it's understandable because we are terrible forming long, complex passwords, let alone remembering all of them.

The risk you run is if you use the same log in info across multiple accounts, WHEN your usernames and passwords are leaked from Amazon, Netflix, your doctor's office, it's easy for anyone to get into your accounts and take them over.

They can charge stuff to your credit card, steal your SSN, take over your email, or drain your bank account. But, if you used a password manager and created a unique password (meaning it was never used before AND no other account password matches), the risk stops at one account, as well as being difficult to crack (because most use 'qwerty', 'password', or personally identifiable information such as pet names or birthdays, which is all very easy to obtain).

So if you want to:
1. Only have to remember ONE password for ALL your accounts
2. Increase your online security

Then consider using a password manager!

1. Bitwarden
2. 1password
3. KeePass (if you're willing to learn for added security)

*P.S. - Using browsers, such as Chrome or Safari, are not password managers and not the best way of storing sensitive information