How to Improve Your Password Security
The current rise of digital culture necessitates increased awareness about cybersecurity; it is better to actively protect yourself, than find yourself needing to pick up the pieces after a cyber attack. The average person uses between one and five passwords, but has upwards of 10 online accounts, including social media and online shopping sites. Most people use the same password for a variety of websites, or save passwords in their web browsers, or both. While this seems easy and convenient, it is likely making your accounts and computer more vulnerable to a data breach, like identity theft. Here are some tips for keeping your passwords impregnable.
Create Complex Passwords
Using a password manager, like SpeedyPassword, will add extra security to your passwords, but you still want to make sure that they are tough to crack. When a hacker gains access to a password, they will try it on multiple accounts, which is why you want to have a different password for each account. If you are concerned about creating and remembering complex passwords, SpeedyPassword not only securely stores passwords, but it includes a Password Generator. This helps you get out of the rut of using your pet’s name, and allows you to create long, unique passwords for each of your accounts.
With SpeedyPassword, you only need to remember a single Master Password for all of your accounts. If you choose to create your own Master Password, you want to make sure it is complex. A secure password should include numbers, special characters (@,!), and mixed-case letters; the longer the better. You also want to avoid using personal information in any password, like birthdays or the names of family members.
Don’t Save Passwords in Your Browser
Passwords that are saved in your web browser are easily available to anyone who has physical access to your computer. The three most commonly used browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. All three of these browsers have vulnerabilities when it comes to stored passwords.
When a new password is entered in Chrome, a box pops up and asks if you would like Chrome’s password manager to remember it for you. Unfortunately, this means that your passwords are stored in the browser Settings, and anyone with access to your computer can find your passwords.
Firefox also saves passwords in the browser. Like Chrome, these passwords are easily located in Options; to find a password for an account, you need only click the Show Password button. Firefox does recommend using a Master Password to protect stored passwords if you are using a shared computer, which does provided added security. However, if you forget your Firefox Master Password, you are locked out of your accounts with no way to recover the Master Password. SpeedyPassword has an exclusive recovery process for Master Passwords, so if you forget it, you can recover and access all of your accounts.
Passwords that are saved in Internet Explorer are a little bit different; they are stored in the Windows Registry on your computer. These files are encrypted, but if your computer is breached or stolen, a hacker could access the passwords using third-party decryption software. SpeedyPassword employs cryptographic hashing to encrypt your passwords on two levels. One is stored on the computer and one is stored on our server, and the passwords cannot be accessed unless the two encryptions communicate. For more information on the cryptographic hashing, please see our short video, How does SpeedyPassword Protect My Password?
Improve your password security by practicing good password management and educating yourself about potential threats. These are important proactive steps that can protect you and your computer. Using a password manager like SpeedyPassword is a good first step to feeling safe and secure online.
December 4, 2014 / By: Laura B. Goode