How to make your Timely account safe and secure
It seems like phishing scams and email hacks are on the rise, and you might be worried about the security of your business and customer information. Rest assured that here at Timely, we have an entire team dedicated to your account security, and multiple systems and procedures in place to protect it. But, there are some important things that you can do to keep your Timely account safe and secure, so we’ve put together this guide to help you take action now.
Why it’s important to keep your Timely account secure
You interact with a lot of people every day, and Timely helps you to store all the client data you need, such as names, contact information, addresses, and other personal information like their preferences or COVID-19 vaccination status. If you take online payments, e.g. using TimelyPay, you’ll also be charging clients for your services from your Timely account.
As the business owner, you’re legally responsible for keeping this information safe, which is why you need to make sure your account is secure.
How to protect your Timely account
1. Two factor authentication
Two Factor Authentication, or 2FA, is one of the best ways to secure your accounts online. So what does it mean? Hang on to your hats, because this is exciting stuff! “Factors” in authentication lingo, are things that web applications like Timely, Gmail, or Facebook can use to identify who you are, and most commonly include your password and email address.
Your email and password can be secure, but the problem is that lots of people use the same password for multiple accounts (which we’ll talk about below), or use easy to guess passwords like names and birth dates!
Using a second factor of authentication acts as an additional layer of security for your account, and it’s usually something you have, like your mobile device. 2FA will check if you’ve got this device on you by either sending you a unique code to type in, or asking you to generate a code using a special app on your device. This means that if a hacker wants access to your account, they’d not only have to have your email address and password, but also your mobile device ON THEM to be able to log in to your account.
Two Factor Authentication is an easy and super effective way to secure your account, so we highly recommend that you turn it on. There’s no better time than the present, so take a look at this guide with easy-to-follow steps to help you set up 2FA in Timely. It’ll only take a few minutes!
How to set up Two Factor Authentication
2. Use unique, strong passwords
You’ve most likely used lots of passwords and usernames over the years – probably the same ones (don’t worry, we’re all guilty of it) – and the more sites you’ve used, the higher the risk that your email address or username has been compromised, or made available to hackers.
The solution to this is using unique, strong passwords for different sites. But we get it – thinking up long, complex passwords and keeping track of them all is hard, right? Luckily, it’s becoming easier all the time, with commonly used browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox now automatically generating and safely storing passwords for you that you can access from your phone and computer. You can also use a dedicated password manager like LastPass or 1Password. Even writing them in a book is better than using the same password everywhere!
Worried that your username or email has been compromised? The good news is that there’s a way you can find out. Check out this site and type in your email address, and it’ll tell you if and where it has. It’s a secure website run by a security researcher, and also used by governments and organisations all over the world.
3. Don’t Share Accounts
Once you’ve set up your security and passwords, it’s important that those things stay secret to you, and you don’t share your credentials with anyone. No matter who asks for your password, even if they seem like a trustworthy source, you should never give it to anyone. At Timely, we’ll never ask you for your password. If you need to add another account for administration, make sure you set it up separately (and follow the above guidance, too)!
Timely makes it easy to add admin staff, check out the guide below👇
How to add administrative staff
Tip: If you need to share email addresses for any reason, think about setting up a mailing group or auto-forwarding from one email address to another, rather than sharing a login to one email inbox.
Do the same for all the sites you use
Security is only as strong as the weakest link, so you should apply the steps above to other web applications you use, like your email, social media, and bank accounts. Losing control of your email address can have serious repercussions, and actually lead to other systems being broken into. If you’ve ever used the ‘forgotten password’ feature on any website, you know that having access to your emails is the only thing you need to reset a password, so it pays to make sure your email system is super safe and secure. As a starting point, you should enable Two Factor Authentication on your email, social media, and bank accounts today, if you haven’t already!
The moral of this security story
We take security very seriously here at Timely, and we do our best to secure the information of our customers and their clients. There are some things we don’t have control over, so we highly recommend that all our customers take action and follow the guidance above to keep their business and client data safe and secure. We know it can be a bit daunting, so we’re here if you have any questions, or need help making your Timely account as safe as it can be. Get in touch with us at [email protected].