A Guide to Password Security
There are several explanations as to why passwords are constantly compromised. Sometimes the reason your password is compromised is that someone you know is looking to get access to your accounts and simply guess your password because they know you all too well. Other times, you may become the victim of a forced attack through a keylogger, which can leave you feeling quite frightened. Another reason could be due to a data breach resulting in hundreds of passwords and account details being compromised.
In some of these circumstances, there are certain things that you can do in order to protect yourself. If you suspect someone who knows you well may be able to guess your password, it’s probably time to change your password, especially if you use the same password across multiple platforms.
If you’re the victim of a data breach, which is out of your control and you’re using the same password across multiple platforms, you will obviously need to change all passwords. In instances like this, we recommend using different passwords for all platforms, especially if your password has been compromised. You can check on “Have I been Pwned” whether your email address has been compromised in a data breach.
We don’t recommend downloading anything you’re unsure about, but if you have accidentally and have noticed a slowness within your browser, this can be a sign of keystroke logging. Key loggers are often transferred through downloads and installed as browser add-ons. Keystroke logging refers to the process in which cybercriminals track all your keystrokes each time you login to a website or browse. These can be hidden in browsers or browser add-ons. The good news is that there are key scramblers out there that will scramble each time you browse, if you do suspect this.
As inconvenient as it sounds, in order to protect your passwords to the best of your ability, we recommend using different passwords for everything, in case your password is compromised on one platform. When choosing passwords, it’s always good practice to ensure that your password isn’t repetitive, contains non-dictionary words, symbols, upper and lowercase letters and numbers. Also, be sure to follow best practice and change your password monthly as well, or at least every so often.
If you are someone who finds it difficult to remember all your passwords, there are password manager apps out there on Android/ iOS like LastPass, 1Password and Dashlane that you can use, in order to store your passwords.
If you use services that have two-step sign in verification where the website you’re signing into will send an SMS with a security code or allow you to use fingerprint sign-in on your phone (if you have a phone with a finger print scanner), ensure you take advantage of this to ensure additional security.
Lastly, be sure not to login to accounts using devices you don’t know such as computers at internet café’s and refrain from using public WiFi as routers can often be tracking certain information you wouldn’t expect them to track.
If you feel that you are in need of any advice or want your PC to be looked over, be sure to contact us.