Your password is your safeguard to keeping your accounts protected. That includes your bank, email inbox, WiFi, and yes, your Netflix account. The stronger your password, the more protected your accounts will be.
A strong password is your first line of defense to your online security. However, the biggest challenge is how to set up a clear-cut password that you will never forget. Likewise, you don’t want to have the same password for all of your accounts. Right?
Here’s an interesting fact! According to LogMeIn, an average person could have at least 85 passwords easily. LogMeIn is the company that created the LastPass password manager. This includes social media, banks, apps, and even streaming accounts.
There are serious consequences when you opt for weak passwords. If your data is compromised, you can become a victim of identity theft. In 2019, a troubling 5,183 reported data breaches.
These breaches could’ve leaked personal information—sensitive data like home addresses and login credentials. Criminals could use these data to steal your identity. They can even use your identity to commit fraudulent acts. Here’s another sad news. In 2017, hackers were able to steal 555 million passwords on the dark web.
Alarming, isn’t it? If you feel the same way, then you might opt to secure your identity online. You’re in an excellent position to take the necessary steps. These are the 9 fool-proof ways to secure your online accounts.
Today you’ll learn some of the best online security hacks.
- The most important tip on how to create or manage your passwords.
- How to be alerted when a breach happens.
- The best tip for safe and secure login.
Use a password management tool
Password management tools will help you track your passwords. This results in a hassle-free login. You already know that strong passwords require at least eight characters. They are hard to guess because of the characters, numbers, and symbols.
On top of that, the best ones are often the hardest to remember. This is very common when you’re following the recommended login credentials—this why password managers become useful.
The two most trusted password managers today are Lastpass and 1Password. These tools can create or store long passwords. Then you can access it through phone, laptop, or desktop computer.
But you still need to memorize a master password that’s just as strong. You will need this since this password will unlock all your other passwords. Google Chrome and Mozilla come with password managers. However, you need to be careful when you opt for them.
Despite these precautions, you still need to be careful. That’s because you’ll most likely become an obvious target for hackers. You also need to understand that these tools are far from perfect. For example, LastPass fixed a bug last year. The bug could’ve exposed one of their customer’s credentials.
The company admitted vulnerability. And they took the matter seriously. They were able to fix the bug and provided users instructions to follow whenever a hack would happen.
Write Them Down
There’s no faster way than to write your login credentials on a piece of paper. Although this could be in conflict with our goal, it’s no denying that password management tools are not for everyone.
If you’re not into the password managers, this could work for you. Maybe you opt to jot down your login credentials on a piece of paper. Here’s another interesting story! According to Electronic Frontier Foundation, you can jot down your login credentials on a piece of paper or notebook.
They said it’s one of the most effective ways to track your credentials. While this may sound old-fashioned, this too isn’t perfect. That’s because if someone breaks into your home and they found that piece of paper, all of your login credentials will be compromised.
For this reason, it’s better to keep this piece of paper as safe as possible. You can place this in a locked cabinet, drawer, or desk. It’s best to keep this out of sight. With your financial accounts, make sure that the only ones who know are those you can fully trust.
On the other hand, carrying a notebook with all your login credentials is a huge risk. We strongly suggest checking this important item now and then. You can’t afford to misplace it.
Check Your Passwords If They’re Compromised
You can never stop a hack. Data breach and malicious hacks are the most common ways for passwords to leak out. Do you know that you can check your accounts if, by any chance, they got compromised?
There are tools in your browser that can help you. These are Google Password Checkup and Mozilla Firefox Monitor. These tools can help you take the right action whenever there’s a data breach.
Also, there’s Have I Been Pwned to help you see if your password and emails are exposed.
Never Use Common Words Or Character Combination With Your Password
The goal to stay protected online is to create a password that no one could quickly guess. These common words can be “password,” “mypassword,” “qwerty,” “thequickbrownfox.” This also goes with your name, nickname, birthday, etc.
The key is never to use a password that is associated with you.
Longer Passwords Are Better
Although eight-character passwords are recommended, having a longer password is so much better. That’s because according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with other online security experts, suggested using three or four random words for your password.
This could be difficult to remember. That’s why we recommend you use a password manager.
Never Recycle Your Password
This is worth reiterating. Recycling your passwords from multiple accounts is a bad idea. If someone discovers you’re doing this, they can try that password for each of your accounts.
This also applies to word-modification. Also, adding a prefix or suffix is a big No-No. Examples of these words are passwordone, passwordtwo, etc. We recommended that you pick a unique password for each of your accounts.
This will prevent hackers from cracking the rest of your accounts.
Never Use Any Password That Was Stolen Before
Hackers can use a technique called credential stuffing. This is an effortless way to break into an account that uses already exposed passwords. If you want to check a password if it was hacked before through Have I Been Pwned.
There’s No Need To Reset Your Password Regularly
It’s a common practice to change your password in 60 to 90 days. While this has become a tradition, it all started with a naive belief. It said that this is how long it takes to crack a password.
Today, however, Microsoft suggests that you don’t need this regularly. Unless, of course, your password is compromised. Surprised? Here’s an even surprising reason. When forced into changing passwords, most of us fall into the bad habit of opting for easy-to-remember passwords.
Worse, some would even place them on sticky notes in front of their computer screens.
Use The Two-Factor Authentication
The two-factor authentication is an added layer of security. It’s also known as two-step verification or 2FA, and it requires a second piece of information that only you knew. Usually, this comes in the form of a code.
We recommend that you avoid text message codes. Hackers won’t be able to access your account without the verification code. Make sure that the code is sent over to your phone or other devices. The verification code will confirm that it’s you.
It’s convenient to receive the codes through your phone. But it’s also simple for hackers to steal that information. They use a technique using a sim swap fraud. This will give hackers access to your verification codes sent through your phone number.
The safest way to receive verification codes is to use authentication apps. Some of the best apps are Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, or Authy. These tools will help you generate codes that you can fetch yourself.
You just need to set up your account. Register the device you want to use along with the browser of your choice. This will prevent you from verifying every time you log in.
When it comes to online security, your best defense is the habit of being proactive. You have to try the best methods to keep you safe and secure. That’s why you need to check your email and passwords if they are present on the dark web.
Remember, there is no such this as overprotective when it comes to online security.