Protecting Your Passwords

Simple, Yet Effective Ways To Protect Your Passwords

1. Don’t share them with anyone

Yeah, so this one is obvious, but because it hap­pens all the time it needs repeating: don’t share your pass­words! All of the per­sonal secu­rity tips in the world won’t help you if someone else has one of your pass­words and is able to act like they’re you online. Maybe you trust them, but are you sure you trust everyone they trust? The point is that once you’ve dis­closed your pass­word, the sit­u­a­tion is no longer within your control.

2. Use strong passwords

A pass­word that is easily guess­able is not much better than nothing at all. Attackers give con­sid­er­able effort in order to try and dis­cover new ways to make pass­word guessing more effi­cient, and so it pays off to select strong pass­words that are resis­tant to these efforts. Try making them longer, and use a unique phrase instead of a single word if pos­sible. Include a few sym­bols or typos if anything. Just make sure you remember it!

3. Don’t use the same pass­word everywhere

It’s tempting to come up with a strong pass­word, and then use the same one in mul­tiple places, like for log­ging into Twitter or your email. But if your pass­word is broken or acci­den­tally exposed by one of these ser­vices, attackers can often go and try to use the pass­word at a number of other ser­vices with your public login infor­ma­tion, most often an email address. So, use dif­ferent pass­words. That way, if one is broken, attackers won’t be able to obtain access all your other accounts and you can limit the damage.

4. Con­sider using a pass­word manager

It’s not easy to remember a large number of strong pass­words. The last time I counted, I had more than 50 accounts with dif­ferent ser­vices, and despite the value of the pre­vious tips, it’s dif­fi­cult to have that many different password if you’re in a sim­ilar sit­u­a­tion, you might con­sider using a pass­word man­ager, such as LassPass or KeePass. The idea is to main­tain an encrypted data­base of your pass­words so that you only need to remember one: the master pass­word pro­tecting the data­base. They often have other ben­e­fits, such as gen­er­ating strong pass­words for you that respect pass­word poli­cies and work with your web browser.

5. Con­sider using two-factor authentication

A great way to pro­tect your infor­ma­tion is to take advan­tage of the so-called two-factor authen­ti­ca­tions when pos­sible. Google, Twitter, and Face­book all pro­vide these capa­bil­i­ties, where the idea is to require two pieces of infor­ma­tion as proof of iden­tity: your pass­word, plus sometimes one of those annoying “text verification” schemes for instance. While I find it extremely annoying sometimes, requiring two fac­tors makes it far less likely that your account can be stolen since an attacker would need both your pass­word and your mobile phone in order to obtain access to your account.

Pass­word safety is easily overlooked but is crucial in pro­tecting your per­sonal infor­ma­tion. By fol­lowing the tips above, you’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes to staying safe online.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

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