Live Securely in 2023 (part 4 of 4)

Still following along but not feeling secure, or without care? I’ve summarized the last couple posts in this series in a handy grid below, organized by the two main areas, identity protection and software updates.


While I don’t advocate printing it out, it can be easily copied into a doc and used as a checklist. I’ve also added some more advanced tips to the grid in case you need to amp up your defenses.


2023 Protect Your Identity Update Your Software
Basic / Required
  • Use long passwords, 15 characters or more
  • Use complex passwords with letters, numbers and characters
  • Use a unique password for each site/service
  • Monitor the news for breached services you use
  • Use a second factor for authentication (2FA, MFA)
  • Keep your browsers up to date
  • Update your operating system (OS) monthly
  • Update your phone and/or tablet OS
  • Never “root” or “jailbreak” a device
Modern / Recommended
  • Use a password manager
  • Risk rank your accounts and logins
  • Use passphrases instead of passwords
  • Detect phishing attempts and report them
  • Set your OS to auto-update and restart regularly
  • Set your mobile apps to auto-update
  • Change the manufacturer’s default passwords (especially for IoT devices)
  • Update your wireless router
Advanced / Professional
  • Rotate passwords/phrases annually
  • Do not allow your browsers to remember your passwords/phrases
  • For MFA, use a hardware key or trusted authenticator app
  • Detect all forms of phishing, smishing, vishing, and MFA attacks and report them
  • Back up your data before major updates
  • Update your device firmware
  • Only obtain software from trusted sources
  • Update your IoT devices, including game consoles, smart TVs, printers, etc.
  • If you use virtual machines (VMs), update the guest OS and the hypervisor they run in (such as VirtualBox, VMware)


Try your best to adopt these security measures and build them into your daily habits and routines. If you encounter a difficult process (maybe updating your wireless router), take some notes about how you ended up accomplishing the task so you can do it more easily next time.


To live securely, or “without care”, is not easy, but it’s possible. I hope this guide provides you with a prioritized listing of the elements of your digital life that you can and should control.


Bonus: The NSA just released a guide to securing your home network. Check it out here.