A True Story to make you think…
Two months ago one of my childhood friends received a phone call from her credit card security department. Turns out that her card had been charged via Paypal for $13,000…..
Further investigation revealed that hackers broke into her Gmail account and from there to her Paypal as well, and they directed all the Paypal notifications in a way that she couldn’t see them so she was not even aware of the shenanigans going on in her Paypal account. This story fortunately ended happily, but until it did my friend had a very unpleasant experience) to say the least).
There are a few steps she could have taken to protect herself and one of them is very simple and will allow any of you reading this to better protect your security and prevent unexpected surprises.
The most basic step is called “2 step verification” and applying it is very easy, as we will describe in this post.
What is 2 Step Verification?
Usually we sign in to services like Gmail, Facebook and even Etsy with a username and password.
This method is very secure – as long as someone else does not somehow get hold of your password.
The idea behind 2 step verification is that when logging in for the first time from your home computer for example, you also get an SMS message sent to your phone with an additional code you need to enter as part of your login.
So if, for example, someone got hold of your password, they wouldn’t be able to login as the SMS would be sent to your phone, not theirs. The SMS you receive would also give you a heads-up that someone is trying to login to your account.
Because it is not so convenient to wait for that SMS every time we login, you are required to do it only once a month from each computer you are using.
Etsy offers this option, as well as other security options that you can access here: https://www.etsy.com/your/account/security
Gmail, Facebook and Paypal also offer this option, which we’ll explain in future posts.