If you have stumbled upon this article, then you surely are someone who has once been stung by the pains of data breaches. If not that, then you surely are someone smart who have decided to deem their privacy the importance it deserves!
Passwords have long since been the ultimate form of reliance in our struggle to stay private! They add a personal touch and give out a sure and steady sense of confidence along with the surety of privacy. However, criminals and data snoopers have vowed to disrupt privacy and breach security, resulting in a sure complication in passwords!
Most of us, while setting up passwords, try our best to come up with something unique and yet memorizable! However, while striving to do so, we often end up conjuring an exceedingly menial password that may seem unusual to us, but for a hacker, it’s quite simple!
With cybersecurity becoming a grave issue and data breaches along with other cybercrimes occurring at a heinous rate, experts point out weak passwords to be a common issue.
The reason behind this is, as complicated as setting up passwords is, most people fail to understand the complexity involved. Therefore, most netizens proudly set up some of the worst passwords and evidently become victims of data breaches or other crimes!
As passwords are mostly a “personal” thing, there is little that can be done to ensure “strong password usage.” However, spreading awareness on the matter is still somewhat achievable and thus the celebration of change your password day!
So if you are someone who ignorantly has set up your password as “12345” or as “password” and consider yourself secure, it’s about time you get aware! So here pops a fairly obvious question:
What to do while setting passwords?
Setting passwords is not as complicated as it seems to be! All you need to do is be smart and do the right thing! The following are some of the practices I can’t stress enough to follow, which would definitely ensure online security:
Complexity ensures security
While setting passwords, this is the best mantra to follow! Thankfully with the rising awareness of cybersecurity, most websites have strict rules to follow while setting passwords. However, even with that, we still manage to land ourselves in trouble!
Therefore while setting up passwords, it is best to remember that a complex password is a key to remaining. Using an intricate mix of numbers, letters, and symbols can ensure this complexity!
Also, while setting passwords, it is best to remember and not use common knowledge about yourself. This can range from any information you might have posted about on social media such as your favorite color, or pets name, your phone number, etc. Why? Well, primarily as social engineers can crack your passwords by merely observing your online behavior.
However, in striving to set up a complex password, it is better to make sure and not set up something you would end up forgetting. Most experts suggest using a mix of three words along with numbers and symbols so that the password becomes reliable and secure.
Don’t reuse old passwords
With the constricting thought of remembering passwords, most of us tend to reuse old passwords in an exact manner or with some menial modifications. Now, although this may make our life easy, it makes it easy for hackers to crack the password open too.
How? Let’s suppose your account gets hacked. You manage to recover your account successfully, but in the wake of remembering passwords, you merely make small modifications to old passwords and get settled therein.
Now, as most hackers are not one to take and walk away, they can make a reroute! And with that, if the password is eerily similar to the one that he previously cracked, then it is easy to access!
Therefore, it is better to update passwords and never reuse old ones continually. Come to think of, you wouldn’t pick food from the trash, wash it and eat it now, would you?
The same thing surely applies here!
Don’t share login credentials
Although this somewhat goes without saying, most of us, as an act of “trust,” tend to share passwords with friends or co-workers. Now, albeit this may strengthen your bond in some way, however, a secret never remains a secret once you tell it to someone!
So here goes, what if this “trusted” person of yours goes behind your back and tells login credentials to everyone? This was the worst-case scenario! What if that person you shared login credentials with writes them down somewhere and loses them? There are a thousand different possibilities with this! Therefore, it is best to have your login credentials stored safely within your brain cells!
Turn on two-factor authentication
Setting up a strong password is a sure way to remain protected. However, with flailing cybersecurity, it is best to have an additional protective layer. Multi-factor authentication provides an extra layer of protection to your passwords.
Additionally, there is a bit more personalization with 2FA, as it involves sending a confirmation link or code to your cell phone or email after entering the password. This ensures that the only way to enter the account is to have access to your emails or cell phone number.
Don’t have one password for all
We all have various accounts on numerous platforms. Now, albeit this is somewhat a good thing, remembering their passwords is a hassle. Now some people prefer having one password for all accounts so that it is easy to remember.
However, as convenient that may be, it makes you vulnerable. How? Suppose one of your accounts gets hacked, which evidently makes all the other accounts free access too! Therefore it is best to have separate passwords for every account, and if there is trouble remembering them, it’s best to go for password managers!
These are software designed to bring ease into our lives, along with security. These software store passwords of every account that you have so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of remembering them individually. Here are some of the best password managers I have come across:
1. Zoho Vault
This manager allows access from any browser and platform. It is secure and ensures password security by having a set actionable length of passwords. And the best part is that it comes for free! However, it is not designed to handle form filling and lacks in remembering the password of some key sites such as Gmail.
This paid password managing software provides VPN protection along with synchronization to all devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Additionally, it also scans the Dark Web for compromised accounts and records online shopping receipts. However, its VPN capabilities are limited, along with support to Internet Explorer.
Providing support for all popular platforms and browsers, it allows security through two-factor authentication too. Additionally, it promises secure password sharing and keeps a recorded history of passwords and files. Also, there is a secure file storage and message option available too. However, it does not support automated web updates and web form filling.
Passwords have long since remained the best form of protection. However, it is about time this form of protection gets upgraded too. These methods are, therefore, the ultimate way to stay protected and safe online.