Should your credentials fall into the hands of the fraudsters, it would give them access to the services and apps you use – resulting in leaks of private data and money loss.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Passwords?
There are a few easy steps that you can follow to ensure your passwords are protected. And, bearing in mind that the type of thief that steals a digital password is very different to the one that breaks into your home – it is always advisable to write them down on a piece of paper and store them in a home safe.
Two Factor Authentication – But Do it Right
Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes, and security specialists agree. So enable two-factor authentication whenever possible, and make sure you choose those services which encrypt your passwords. It is better to avoid using a mobile phone as the back-up and use a reputable authentication app instead. This is because SIM cloning is becoming prevalent and it is relatively easy for criminals to do.
Use Different Passwords
Create different passwords for each service. This way, even if one of them is compromised, the other ones will be secure. Many developers like Apple and Microsoft even have facilities built into the systems they provide to create and securely store randomly generated passwords.
Avoid Weak Passwords
If you’re going to create your own password, it is imperative that you create ones that are obscure. Avoid weak passwords, such as words, phrases, and simple sequences of numbers. According to SplashData and the UK National Cyber Security Center, QWERTY, 12345, iloveyou, princess, dragon, and welcome have been on the list of the most used passwords for years – and, believe me, hackers are aware of those lists too.
The key here is to remember that even if you think no one will guess your childhood friend’s dog’s name, it is likely going to be fairly easy to break with a good bit of password cracking software. A strong password will include letters in both upper and lowercase, digits and symbols.
Keep Copies of Your Passwords
Okay, I’ve created about dozens of strong passwords. How on earth do I remember them? Well, by any means, don’t store them in a file or a notebook in plain text on your computer. Instead, use a dedicated password manager or the inbuilt password feature in your browser – and lock your device with a pin code, password, or fingerprint for additional protection. As mentioned earlier, the best way to keep your passwords backed up is to write them down and store them securely in your home.
Antivirus is Valuable Software
And lastly, set up an antivirus with automatic updates to lower the risk of a password leak through malware. Many let their antivirus lapse after the initial free trial which is unwise. For all its annoyances and faults, the software will occasionally prove very useful.
Do you follow these security measures to make sure your passwords are safe? Have we missed anything on our list? Let us know in the comments below!