How to protect your online accounts as an Independent Musician
Hackers are coming up with new diabolical scams every day, so it’s important to know how to keep all your personal information secure and safe. Here are some basic cyber security tips to help every musician and music industry professional stay protected.
As an independent musician and master of DIY, having your personal information online is just a part of the gig. Logins on tons of websites, payments on various accounts, everything you do online remains behind only so many walls of protection. People get hacked all the time, and it typically happens to those who skipped out on some basic safety measures. Don’t leave your accounts up for grabs! Here’s how to protect yourself…
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Every time you’ve got the option, I highly recommend enabling two-factor authentication. Doing so adds an extra layer of security by requiring you (or anyone trying to get into your account) to enter a one-time code sent to your phone or email. It only takes a second to do, and it’s worth it to ensure nobody can guess your password and stroll right in.
Use a Strong, Unique Password
Just like you’ve been told all your life… you need strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts. That includes email, social media, and music distribution platforms. If you struggle with choosing the perfect combo of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, there are websites built to help you make one. NordPassand Dashlane are both very secure options.
Use a VPN
Everyone should use a virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to the internet, especially if you’re using a public Wi-Fi network. A VPN can help protect your data from prying eyes, masking your internet protocol address to keep everything you do online private.
Protect Your Music Files
Store your music files and creative work in secure cloud storage or external hard drives with encryption. On top of that, you should regularly back up your data to prevent loss in case of a security breach or device failure. We’ve all lost an important file to the abyss before, and I wouldn’t wish that frustration on my worst enemy.
Beware of Phishing Scams
ALWAYS be cautious of emails or messages that ask for personal information or login credentials. Double-check the sender’s email address and verify the legitimacy of any requests you get. Here at Symphonic, we’ve even had clients reach out telling us someone emailed them claiming to be from Symphonic and asking for personal information. Even now, I get the occasional scam email that looks like it was truly from Google when it was really a random guy on the other side of the world trying to steal my account info.
Update Your Software
Keeping your operating system, music software and all your apps up to date is super important. These updates often include security patches that help protect your devices from vulnerabilities.
In this day and age, you can find anything you want to know about anything in the blink of an eye. If you’re interested in keeping your online presence as protected as possible, it wouldn’t hurt to do additional research on ways to protect your accounts or sign up for newsletters that update you on new ways to do so. In the meantime, we’ll be sure to provide as many resources as possible too.
For example, check these out…
- How To Protect Yourself From NFT Scammers as an Artist
- Why Independent Artists Should Beware of Streaming Fraud
At the end of the day, all you can do is try your best to protect your accounts in case someone ever does try to hack their way in. Things like having amazing passwords, keeping everything updated, using a VPN and more, all work wonders. Aside from your personal accounts, there is a ton of fraudulent activity happening in the music industry. Specifically, streaming fraud is a serious problem.
In a world that’s obsessed with stats, it’s understandable why. But the issue runs deeper than just people buying streams. Sometimes innocent people decide to work with a service that claims to be legitimate and ends up using the same illegal methods us good apples are trying to avoid. It’s up to you to be conscious of scammers, bots and misinformation, but this post offers a great rundown to teach you exactly what to look out for.