Before It’s Too Late Protect Your Passwords
Every day, in the news we hear about data breaches, passwords being stolen and online account hacked. The news has become so commonplace that many Internet users disregard the real dangers these threats present. Even so, it is vital that organizations and home users start to take a proactive and ongoing measure to protect their sensitive information from hackers and cyber criminals.
Recently, one news report gave details how a Russian cyber crime group stole over 1.2 million usernames and passwords. When hearing the news it appears to be a massive breach but, when taking a closer look, it’s a breach that took time and maybe even years to accomplish. Therefore, it is important to respond to these instances and even more important for you to respond by securing your password and take a proactive approach to securing your vital information.
5 Steps To Protect Your Sensitive Information With A Secure Password
1. Protecting your email credentials from hackers and cyber criminals
What most users fail to recognize and understand is that their email accounts are the front door to their entire digital life. Consider how many times you have reset your password on one of your accounts and the information is sent to your email account. Each new account you open a confirmation email is sent to your account. Inside the email, it gives you your account information and password if you forget your account password. In addition, always avoid opening any email from an unknown sender. Also, never click on suspicious links embedded in the body of your email. Never open email attachments sent to you by someone you don’t know. This also applies to embedded links in your instant messages, social networks, and websites. Finally, never share your confidential information when replying to an email.
2. Change your passwords on your banking accounts and other important sites once a month
At least once a month change your passwords on all your accounts that hold your personal information, private data, and financial details. Once a cyber criminal has your credential it is easy for them to access more information from these accounts. This is particularly true when you have used the same password and username on all of your accounts. Hackers and cyber criminals always try to use stolen credentials on multiple accounts. When creating a username and password never use the same username and password on multiple accounts. Always choose a new username and a secure password for your accounts that contain your sensitive information and data.
3. Create strong passwords for all your online accounts
When selecting or changing your password on our accounts make sure you use a password of eight characters or longer. Your password should never contain your name, your account username, or any other information that can personally identify you. The strongest passwords include a combination of special characters, upper and lower case letters, and number. Passwords should never contain your home address, birthday, children’s birthday, or any part of your phone number.
4. Never re-use one of your old passwords
When creating your new accounts use one unique password and user name for each account. Once a hacker or cyber criminal has your credential they will use them to gain access to your other online accounts. It is vital for your security that each one of your accounts has a special unique username and password Therefore, when you create different passwords on all your accounts, hackers won’t be able to access your different accounts with the information they have stolen.
5. When available enable two-factor authentication when logging into your accounts
Due to the rise in cyber crimes many websites now offer you a two-factor or two-step authentication for logging into your accounts. This adds an extra layer of protection to your account and requires you to enter your password, plus a code that you receive on your mobile device. Many sites use your mobile device text message to send you a different code each time you log into your account. Some websites use a token generator to login to their site. This authentication process adds extra security on your account and protects you against hackers and cyber criminals. It is recommended to use the two-factor authentication process on all your important accounts.