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Passwords are an effective tool for securing your online accounts, but only when used correctly. They work alongside other security tools to provide a secure connection to the internet for you. A password is a handy tool to authenticate your identity when you want to access most of your online accounts. You simply enter a password each time you want to access your account
But, managing passwords is a difficult task, considering the average user has at least 100 password-protected accounts on the internet. Well, the future of authentication looks promising because authentication will take place behind the scenes for the end-user. Your device will be monitoring your biological signature behind the scenes and access cut off when your device no longer detects your biosignature. But, until then, passwords remain the primary means of authentication for your online accounts, and therefore, you need to learn how to secure them to protect yourself online.
How to Secure your Passwords and Login
To help you secure your passwords and other logins, here are some good practices.
Never Share your Passwords
It is generally never okay to share your passwords. In a business setting, sharing passwords could result in a data breach. There are very few instances where sharing passwords is okay, like children with their parents or helping a considerably senior person.
Create Uncommon passwords
It is advisable to create a passphrase and use it for your password. The typical length of a strong password is at least 12 characters. Also, include symbols like #, &, or % when creating your password. A password like “pa$$word” is not strong because hackers have caught on to the trend, and guessing such passwords is easy. An example of a strong password is ‘MFs!PcaI6Tf$6’ to represent ‘my favorite snack is potato chips, and I buy them for $6.’
Beware of Phishing Attacks
Be careful when clicking on any link that you receive, even if it appears to be a legitimate site. The information you enter as your login credentials go to a hacker (the attacker in this case). If you suspect phishing, you can input the URL of the legitimate site manually.
Use Fingerprint or Facial Recognition on your Phone
Phones can be locked so that the only way to use them is by typing in a code. Some phones have a fingerprint sensor and facial recognition capabilities which might be handy for financial apps security. The best part is that your registered fingerprint or facial recognition stays in your phone. Therefore, the hackers do not get that information.
Ensure your Devices are Safe
Malicious software resembling keyloggers are used to record every keystroke you make on your device and expose your passwords while keying them in. So be careful about what you install on your devices.
Use a Password Manager
A password manager allows you to create very strong or complicated passwords for every site you log in to and stores the password in a secure database in an encrypted format. Your passwords are kept securely in servers in their offices or remote file hosting services, and you get one master code that will allow you to use the password manager. In addition, you get an autofill service, so you do not have to remember all the passwords you create. Some browsers come equipped with a built-in password manager.
Use Two-Step Authentication
This authentication method is a great way to verify your identity. When you enter your login credentials, a message is sent immediately to your phone number, email, or any other way they can contact you. The message contains a code you have to enter to access a site, thus providing an extra layer of security for more secure logins.
Security Tools to Further Secure your Online Activities
A breach in a company’s computer system has dire consequences and is very costly. It can result in productivity and operational loss. That’s why you need to use various tools to secure your network further, as discussed below
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is a service that encrypts the data from and into your phone while masking your IP address. VPNs work by flowing your data through the VPN service provider’s servers. In turn, the server retrieves the information you seek and sends it back to you in an encrypted form. This complex system aims at keeping your IP address a secret, thereby allowing you to surf the internet anonymously.
Using a VPN for security is advisable, but you need to ensure you’re choosing a premium service that will provide you maximum protection.
Firewalls act as gates and security guards at the same time. They categorically mark the territories between your servers and the internet. Firewalls allow authorized data in the ‘gate’ while keeping the unauthorized data from reaching your servers.
Online security is vital, considering most operations are moving online. To prevent hackers from getting your intellectual, financial, or sensitive data, you can include the strategies mentioned above to give yourself a fighting chance against cybercrime.