Internet security has been at the top of the conversation ladder for the past year or so, due to major security breaches, particularly from big companies like Facebook. There are countless other reports of personal accounts being hacked or even credit card information being stolen online. However, there are ways to prevent that. In this article, we gather three simple, yet fireproof, ways to improve your online security.
Make a password that is strong enough
At the end of last year, we got word of the 25 most used passwords and the obvious conclusion is: we never learn. The worst offenders – as in the two previous years – were:: 123456, password, 123456789, 12345678, 12345, qwerty, iloveyou, sunshine or admin. No wonder security breaches tend to happen. If you found one of your passwords in that list, go change it immediately!
When thinking of a password, try to include, at the very least, one upper and lower case letter, some numbers and one or more special characters. Don’t make it long enough for you to completely forget it but don’t keep it too short. Also avoid making obvious letter substitutions (for eg., ‘control’ to ‘c0ntr0l’).
If you’d like to test the strength of your password, several online sites, like this one from Kaspersky, can give you a hand. Don’t stress about keeping track of your passwords, by the way. You’ll find a solution for that in this blog post.
Two-step verification system
If you’ve got your new password covered, then adding a two-step verification system is the next step toward preventing security breaches. This extra layer pays no mind to how intricate or foolish your password might be and is activated at every login.
Given the system is unaware of who’s trying to use your account — whether it be you or a hacker — it sends off an alert via SMS, or via authentication apps like Google Authenticator or Authy, with a code that you will then have to submit, within a short period of time, to continue with the login. Facebook, Instagram, Google Accounts, Twitter, among many others, provide a two-step verification system. If you don’t have it set up, don’t wait around!
The recommendation from web security experts is that we create a different password for each account – it prevents the eventual hacking of one account from jeopardizing others. With so many new passwords to be mindful of, it’s a no-brainer it will be difficult to keep track of all of them. Password managers like LastPass or 1Password exist to simplify the process of memorizing passwords by adding yet another layer of security.
The only thing you’re required to remember is the master password you created when you activated the manager. Aside from that, these systems can suggest you complex passwords for all your accounts, store them and keep them organised on all your devices.
EDIT: We added Two-factor authentication to all Advicefront accounts 🎉
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