After I lost my gmail account then recovered my gmail account I became much more security conscious.

Yesterday @Mat Honan lost everything.
Please read his story

I write this just in hopes that it will save a few people some headache.

7 Simple Ways To Protect Your Digital Life

  1. USE DIFFERENT PASSWORDS! – I use different passwords for my email, facebook, twitter, apple, amazon, bank, and lastpass. Anything which would cause me pain if hacked…I use a different password. SUPER IMPORTANT

Why? It’s becoming more and more common for a hacker to hack a database and pull all the email addresses and passwords. Then they use software to try every email/password they just got on gmail/facebook/twitter/yahoo/msn…

2. Use Different Emails – I don’t use my main email address for setting up accounts online. My “accounts” email address forwards to my main email. It’s easy for a hacker to get a hold of your primary email address. Not as easy to guess a separate account email.

3. Use a different recovery email address – My account recovery email address is not with a common email provider. It’s on it’s own. Just one more layer.

4. Use Gmail’s 2 Factor Authentication – No, seriously. This is not a joke. It’s not hard. It adds peace of mind. It makes hacking your account SUPER difficult. DO IT NOW!

5. Use Lastpass – Nobody wants to remember the different passwords for different accounts. Use Lastpass . Everything’s encrypted. Use Google Authenticator for 2 factor authentication on Lastpass.

6. Stop using your mother’s maiden name – Don’t tell websites your pet’s name. Don’t tell them what elementary school you went to. Create a system for security answers. If you don’t, you might end up like Sara Palin.

7. MAKE BACKUPS EVERYWHERE!– I like backups. They make me feel good. I use

Syncback to backup my computer to an external hard drive inside my house.

Carbonite to make automatic backups online. to backup the data I create online (google data, Facebook, Blogger, WordPress, Picasa, Flickr, Twitter).

Crashplan to make online backups of all my data from all my computers. Fantastic automatic backup service!

Flickr to backup photos. One of my GUYS uploads my photos to Flickr for me. Now my photos are on my computer, the external hard drive, mozy, crashplan, and flickr. I don’t intend to lose memories of my children!

Zoho Mail to pop all my gmail so I have an accessible copy of all my email somewhere NOT on google’s servers.

If you’re not backing up your data, you’re begging to lose it.

Don’t give out personal information – DUH! Yet so many people happily give it out. Godaddy called me the other day and the conversation went like this:

Godaddy: Hi, can I speak with John?

Me: This is John

Godaddy: Hi John, can you please verify your account by telling me the last 4 digits of your credit card?

Me: HECK NO! You called me! How about you give me the last 4 of your credit card to prove you’re actually Godaddy!


Godaddy wouldn’t do it that way if people didn’t give it to them all the time!

Be careful with your info. Nobody EVER asks for passwords, don’t send money via western union, don’t give out your social security number or your birthday, Google and Facebook don’t send out emails saying “Your account has been compromised.”

I’m not a security expert

But doing some simple things can go a long way towards protecting your digital life.

I’d love to learn more from you in the comments.