Ever logged into your banking or credit card account and found that something has gone wrong?
It’s a sickening feeling. Your financial security can be impacted by the security of your personal information, including your account passwords.
When you read about user accounts for websites, such as Yahoo, Netflix, Twitter, Amazon and The New York Times, being breached, you immediately think of your own security. Every day, companies and individuals face these types of cybersecurity attacks. Effective password management can be your first line of defense against these threats and against identity theft.
Donovan & Limroth reminds clients of the demand for businesses and consumers to educate themselves and be proactive. To protect yourself, take action and follow these steps.
- Change Passwords For private networks, hackers can steal a password and install backdoor access to an account. Also, hacker hardware and software is more advanced and can crack passwords faster. Regularly changing your passwords isn’t always a safeguard, but there are exceptions, especially with social media and email accounts, where hackers may “listen in” to your activity for weeks before you realize it.
- Use Different Passwords Remembering and keeping track of numerous passwords can be tricky. But if your account on one website is breached, would that password give someone the keys to your other accounts also?
- Create Unpredictable Passwords Advanced hacker hardware and software is fast and smart. It can detect patterns you may use in setting up your passwords. That means variations don’t stand a chance. Tips include making passwords long and using a mix of character types.
- Two-Factor Authentication It’s available on accounts, such as Google, Gmail, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, PayPal, Microsoft and others. It requires more than just your password and is a two-step process. For example, you could be asked to enter a password and then enter a code that your receive by phone.
- Use a Password Generator and Manager These tools can help you generate unique, unpredictable passwords and manage them for long-term security. LastPass is one company that provides these tools, and you can read PC Magazine article “The Best Password Managers of 2017” to learn about these providers and reviews of their services.
With the evolution of hardware, software, technology and the increased use of smartphones and mobile devices, your passwords have more exposure than ever. Think about these tips, but don’t think for long. Take action.