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4 – Pro­tecting online access

Do you lock your door when you leave your home? You should also pro­tect your devices and online access against access by strangers the same way.

The most impor­tant points to remember:

  • Pro­tect your com­puter and mobile devices (smart­phones, tablets, etc.) against unau­tho­rised access, and lock your screen if you are not actively using your device.
  • Use secure pass­words (at least 12 char­ac­ters long, con­sisting of num­bers, both upper and lower case let­ters and also spe­cial characters).
  • Don’t always use the same pass­word every­where, but create dif­ferent pass­words for dif­ferent options.
  • If pos­sible, also acti­vate so-called two-factor authen­tifi­ca­tion.

Securing devices against unau­tho­rised access

Pro­tect all your devices via access pro­tec­tion. With note­books, tablets and smart­phones in par­tic­ular, the risk of loss or theft is con­sid­er­ably greater than with your home PC.

Espe­cially on your mobile devices, you should there­fore ensure that the auto­matic screen lock via code, pass­word, fin­ger­print or face recog­ni­tion is activated.

In addi­tion, you should encrypt your data on any mobile device. This par­tic­u­larly applies to aux­il­iary storage media, such as external hard drives or USB sticks. This makes it impos­sible for unau­tho­rised per­sons to access your data and apps via external systems.

Under Settings/Touch ID & Code, you can pro­tect your device via a number code or pass­word and can also deposit your fin­ger­prints. With an iPhone X or later, you can con­figure it for face recog­ni­tion under Settings/Face ID & Code. Data are auto­mat­i­cally stored in encrypted form on all iPhones and iPads.

Secure pass­words

Pass­words are still the most common and widely used keys in an elec­tronic envi­ron­ment, pro­tecting access to sen­si­tive and pri­vate data. Just observing a few simple rules on how to handle pass­words pro­vides you with much improved protection.

6 rules for a secure password...

  • Use at least 12 characters
  • Use num­bers, upper- and low­er­case let­ters plus spe­cial characters
  • Don’t use any key sequences, such as «asdfgh» or «45678»
  • Don’t use any word in a known lan­guage – i.e. your pass­word should not make any sense and should not be found in any dictionary
  • Use a dif­ferent pass­word for all your applications
  • Please do not save your pass­word any­where unless it is encrypted

It is not really that dif­fi­cult to create a secure pass­word! Below we have explained how to create and sub­se­quently also remember a secure pass­word in a simple manner:

  • Take a sen­tence which is easy for you to remember, and create your pass­word from the respec­tive first let­ters and numbers:
    «My daughter Tamara Meier was born on January 19!»
  • This results in a pass­word con­sisting of random char­ac­ters which is easily remembered:

Pass­word manager

A pass­word man­ager serves to save all your pass­words in encrypted form - so you only ever have to remember a single pass­word.

We rec­om­mend the fol­lowing pass­word man­agers for use with Win­dows, some of which are free:

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion and a detailed com­par­ison of common pass­word man­agers can be found in the “Fact Sheet Pass­word Man­ager“ of the Zurich canton data pro­tec­tion officer.

Two-factor authen­tifi­ca­tion

In addi­tion to a secure pass­word, so-called two-factor authen­tifi­ca­tion pro­vides addi­tional secu­rity. In the process, a second, inde­pen­dent secu­rity com­po­nent is requested in addi­tion to the first one (gen­er­ally a pass­word). This might be a code sent to your mobile phone or gen­er­ated directly on your device.

Nowa­days, it is not just finan­cial insti­tu­tions, but also many online ser­vice providers (such as Google, Face­book) who offer two-factor authen­tifi­ca­tion. You should avail your­self of this increased level of secu­rity. A descrip­tion of all the dif­ferent methods used by finan­cial insti­tu­tions can be found here.

Was my online access hacked?

Check whether your pass­word for any of your online accounts has been hacked:

Have I been Pwned

Here you can find out whether your log-in details for any online accounts have been com­pro­mised or were pub­lished due to a data breach. This page uses the familiar https://haveibeenpwned.com plat­form to check its data­base and then pre­pares your results in German, French, Italian or Eng­lish for you. To do so, enter your respec­tive user name or e-mail address, but never the pass­word to be checked!

Pro­tect your data and all your devices with the help of our “5 steps for your dig­ital security”:

What else would you like to learn about security when e-banking?

Reg­ister for a course now
and learn more:

Basic course

Find out about cur­rent Internet threats and some easy pro­tec­tive mea­sures, and how to securely use e-banking.

fur­ther information

Online course mobile banking/payments

Find out about mobile banking, mobile pay­ments and how to securely use these apps.

fur­ther information

Online course for the under-30s

Learn how to use your smart­phone securely. Next to basics, we will show you what you should know about social media, clouds, mobile banking and mobile payments.

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Course for SMEs

Is your organ­i­sa­tion suf­fi­ciently secure? Learn which mea­sures you can take to sig­nif­i­cantly strengthen your organisation’s IT security.

fur­ther information