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5 important cybersecurity conversations for couples

Online security may not be the most romantic topic, but talking with your partner about staying safe online is important. By proactively boosting your digital defenses, you and your partner can help avoid the stress of being hacked, phished or scammed online. 

Strong (and varying) passwords

Let’s face it: Most people aren’t great about password management . So if you or your partner are using your name and birthday as your password, take this opportunity to choose better credentials. Help maintain some peace of mind by using these tips to build stronger passwords. Then consider setting up a password management service and committing to regular audits of your existing accounts and passwords.

Navigating a deepfake

Artificial intelligence is helping scammers develop deepfakes, which are high-quality copies of real-life people. Deepfakes can consist of voice cloning and image generation. One version of phishing called vishing starts with a “call” from a person impersonating someone you know, like your partner. The caller can use a spoofed phone number to make the call look like it’s coming from the individual, and a deepfaked clone of your loved one’s voice to insist they’re in trouble and need you to send money immediately. 

These calls can be convincing and distressing in the moment, so it’s important to have a plan in place. Agree on a word or phrase, also known as a "safe word," you can use to confirm each others’ true identity if you believe someone is impersonating your partner. 

Best practices for managing shared accounts

Be mindful if you and your partner share login credentials on any accounts that store financial information like banking or investment accounts and credit cards. Together, clarify which accounts have shared access, then delegate an individual to keep track of any others, monitoring them for unusual spending or sign-in alerts. 

Make sure that the passwords for these shared accounts are stored properly — even if your partner messages you for the password, don’t email or text it over. Give them a call and share it verbally to reduce the accessibility to hackers. 

Staying up to date on scams

Cyber criminals are always working to develop new, innovative schemes to access your information, whether through social media DMs, emails or text messages . You might be savvy enough to spot some of these attempts to access your money or personal information, but scammers are always looking for new methods. Stay up to date on the recent tactics and talk them over with your partner so you both know the warning signs. (And remember to report any scams you might encounter.)

Signing up for identity theft and credit monitoring software can also serve as an additional line of defense should someone unauthorized access your information. 

Stay up to date on the latest tactics and talk them over with your partner to ensure you both know the warning signs.

Enabling MFA

For an added layer of protection, multi-factor authentication uses various methods, like a text message or email with a code, to confirm your identity. Run through your accounts where your personal information is accessible, and if possible, set up two-factor authorization.

Bonus: Offline security best practices 

While most of our information is online, there are still critical documents that deserve this level of careful consideration. If you haven't already, now is a good time to agree on secure places to store important documents like social security cards, marriage certificates, the deed to your home and more. 

Staying security-savvy

You and your partner are a team, and maintaining your security online is no exception. By preparing and staying aware together, you can help boost your security individually and as a couple. 

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