6 Tips for Password Security and Why

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We can all use some tips for better password security. Nobody is perfect and nobody always follows all of the best practices when using the internet. Let’s explore why having a strong password is so important and some tips for better password creation. 

Data Breaches

Fortune 500 companies aren’t exempt from the occasional data breach. What hope does the rest of us have? Equifax, who is one of three major credit data firms, had millions of customer passwords and emails stolen. RSA Security had a theft that also compromised its SecureID two-factor authentication tokens. These are two companies which are widely considered to be the gold standard of security.

Dozens of major company online account records have been hacked. Sometimes this leaked information is also tied to credit card information. This means the likelihood your email and password from one of those accounts have been sold is very high. How do you keep your password safe?

Password Strength

The strength of the password is the first line of defense when dealing with a breach. Although there are many vulnerabilities online, there are also many ways to protect your passwords. There are several online tools that you can use to test the strength of your password. The stronger your password, the safer your password is from hackers. Check out How Secure Is My Password or Password Meter.

Passwords Sold on the Dark Web

Sometimes you may not even know your password has been breached. A great way to protect yourself is to periodically check if your information has been sold on the dark web.

Fortunately, there is an extremely secure website that will inform you if your email or password is available for hackers online – and the source that exposed it. The site is called “have i been pwned?” and you can use it to check on your email and password, here: https://haveibeenpwned.com.

Now that we covered why it’s important to have a secure password let’s go over some recommendations for keeping your passwords safe:

  1. Do not use the same password on multiple sites. Many people use the same password because it is easier to remember. The problem is if there is one breach on one site then you are extremely vulnerable on all sites.
  2. Use a password manager like LastPass to manage your passwords. That way you won’t have the excuse of keeping track of all those separate passwords! If Lastpass you would have a master password which to would sign into the program with and then the rest would be protected within its encryption process.
  3. Never share your password, especially if the one you commonly use. One breach can cripple your entire life and leave you vulnerable to identity theft and many other issues. Identity theft may take years to recover from if your information is exploited.
  4. Never underestimate the importance of your security. Many believe that they don’t have anything worth stealing. Do remember that if someone has your email password, and the answer to a few quick questions about you they can get access to anything. They send the reset password request for your banking site, log into the email it was reset to, and you are done for. Or if you use the same password and email on a banking site then they simply log into it. One mistake is all it takes to completely lose everything!
  5. Use 2-Factor Authorization When Possible. Many sites can link with your cell phone and require you to enter a code before logins can be finalized. This makes it very difficult for someone that has your password to even log in because you need to authorize that location. This is a relatively new and advanced way to protect yourself.
  6. Always use special characters !@#$%^&*( and alternate capitals / lower case. There are password dictionaries that go through commonly used words and try them in the password field. The special characters help avoid the dictionary from easily being able to find words in your password.

IF NOTHING ELSE — Just write your multiple passwords down on paper.

Write all of your passwords down on a piece of paper with a pen. Maybe put this sheet of paper in a safe or safety deposit box, and keep it available for you to update on an as-needed basis. This is vital, because if something were ever to happen to you, your significant other, or other heirs will need access to your accounts. They will also need access to your smartphone, your computer and any other device that requires a password. Consider this a gift to those grieving your loss, as one less thing to worry about. Morbid, yes, but it truly will protect you as well as benefit those you love without putting you at risk for hacking.

Do you have any other questions about password security? Call us at Rush Tech Support today to speak with one of our professionals and we can make sure your passwords are secure. Our number 844-880-7874.

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