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Access a trusted device

Having 2-step authentication  turned on for all of your accounts is an essential security practice. However, in case the verification method you set up (phone number, app) is not working or has changed, you should try accessing the account from a trusted device . Many service providers offer the option (usually just a checkbox on the 2-step page) to mark a device as trusted so you wouldn’t have to enter 2-step security codes each time you log in on that specific device, such as your home computer. 

Make sure that only personal devices (computers, tablets, phones) you use regularly are marked as trusted and never use this feature on public or someone else’s devices. 

Authentication Digital hygiene Phone/Tablet Apps Computer/Laptop

Change all passwords

If you believe that your device might be stolen, as a precautionary measure it is good to change all the passwords  to your accounts which are logged in. It is also advisable to use a trusted device  to logout from all sessions on the lost device.

Changing all of your passwords is much easier and safer with the help of specialised applications called password managers  . These apps [APPLICATION] securely store your login credentials and protect them with a master password. That way, you only need to remember your master password and you can copy/paste your other credentials directly from the app. Password management software usually has the option to automatically generate a long and complex password, made of randomised characters and symbols. Applications commonly used for password management are KeePass, KeePassXC and Bitwarden.

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Use encrypted voice communication

Encryption is a cryptographic concept of encoding messages or information, which ensures that only people who have a way to decrypt it will be able to read it.

Voice communications are very easy to monitor and intercept. However, there are applications that enable encrypted communication through voice calls, as well as text messages, including group communication, photography and video. One of these apps is Signal, which is open source , run by a non-profit organisation and is entirely funded by donations, which allows it to work without monetising the data of its users. Telegram is an application which also has an encrypted audio and video call option and is definitely among the most popular services for secure communication.

Phone/Tablet Apps Encryption Computer/Laptop

Use encrypted messaging

Messages are mainly used for informal and personal communication, and are often the subject of correspondence of confidential information about users that should not be available to third parties. There are applications that enable encrypted  communication through chat services. 

SMS communication is similar to chat communication, the only difference is that the internet is used as a data transmission medium in chat communication, while the standard network of mobile phones (GSM, 2G, 3G, 4G, etc.) is used for SMS messages. It is important to emphasize that both parties must use encryption in order for the system to be secure. A free and open source online chat app that provides end-to-end encryption  by default is Signal. It is available for iOS and Android, as well as a desktop app. It provides a wide range of security options, such as self-destructing messages, PIN protection or encrypted video calls. You can also use Telegram where Secret Chats need to be enabled for end-to-end encryption.

Phone/Tablet Apps Encryption Computer/Laptop

Use encrypted email

Despite the development of more modern ways of communications, email has remained one of most commonly used solutions in official communications through the internet. Therefore, a large amount of important and sensitive information is still transmitted by email. On the other hand, the technology behind e-mail is not completely secure, it has a lot of security flaws, and the users have no control over who can access the metadata and content of their e-mail communication, especially when using email services such as Gmail,, Yahoo Mail, etc. 

Emails can be encrypted  using PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) , which is based on public key cryptography. You need to generate a key pair - a public key which you share with others and a private key which you keep secret - in order to exchange encrypted emails with correspondents. 

If you use an email provider like Gmail or Outlook, you can encrypt your communication using Thunderbird, an open source email client with built-in OpenPGP capabilities, or by using the Mailvelope browser extension which works with popular webmail services. By using these tools you can easily generate a key pair for encrypting your email, or import existing encryption keys.

However, there are email providers, such as ProtonMail or Tutanota, which encrypt your messages automatically when they are sent between their users, and also provide ways to send encrypted emails to those using other providers.

Phone/Tablet Apps Encryption Computer/Laptop