These steps can help protect your online privacy

Consumer Reports launches tool for personalized security advice

Consumer Reports launches tool for personalized security advice

SAN ANTONIO – Jerry Harris relies on social media to run his small business, a dog-walking service.

The day he received an email from Facebook was a wake-up call.

“It identified that my account had been locked out,” he said.

A hacker had accessed his business’ Facebook page and changed the login.

“The biggest problem, of course, is that I can no longer control my own business Facebook page,” Harris said.

If you are concerned about hacking, identity theft or online tracking, there are some things you can do to protect your online life from intruders.

First, Consumer Reports says to set up two-factor authentication for Facebook or any account that offers it. It’s something you might already use for online banking.

“Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of protection, and the idea here is if someone gets a hold of your password, they’ll need another piece of information,” said Thomas Guerlain of Consumer Reports.

Next, guard against phishing, which is where hackers try to get you to reveal information that could help them steal your identity.

“Avoid clicking on links in texts or emails, especially if there’s something about that message that seems suspicious,” Guerlain said.

Be sure to use secure passwords and do not use the same one for every account. To help you remember all of them, use a password manager. Consumer Reports recommends 1Password, Keeper and Bitwarden.

A new, personalized tool can help you review and tighten up security on the devices you use, from computers and iPads to gaming consoles, smart speakers and baby monitors. It’s a security planner offered by Consumer Reports. It’s free and does not require you to be a member. You can check it out by clicking here.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.