No antivirus or antispyware solution can protect your personal data if you use weak passwords. Hijacking online accounts is trending these days and one good way to protect yourself from having your account taken from you is to select a proper password.
People tend to forget passwords so whenever asked to create a password when signing up on some online account, they select an easy to remember password. These usually include the names of your siblings, pets or cities, birth dates or common words that can be easily guessed out. With today’s technology, a decent computer can hack a password in a matter of minutes using a brute-force attack, when a malicious app sequentially uses different passwords to gain access to an account. Obviously this is a known issue, so webmasters create protective mechanisms to reject an attempt to log in once a certain number of attempts has been reached. Sadly but less popular sites may not be protected this way.
The more you reveal about yourself online, the easier it is to hack your account. Simply by knowing your email address, a hacker can identify your name, last name or the city you live in with the help of social networks, such as Facebook or Google+.
Using a single password for all of your accounts may be convenient, but it is one of the biggest dangers online. Let’s say a hacker hacks your Facebook account. If you use the same password for your email address, it is ridiculously easy to gain access to your mailbox, and from there gaining access to your other accounts is a piece of cake, even if you use different passwords.
This brings us to the conclusion, that your email account must be protected the most. It is the stronghold that should have the best password and, if possible, an additional mechanism to log in, such as two-step verification.
Several Tips To Make Sure Your Account Is Secure
- Do not use common words or names as your password.
- Add some numbers and symbols (%,^,&,$ etc.) to your password. It significantly reduces chances of guessing the password or brute-forcing it.
- Never use the same password for multiple accounts. If you really want to use one password, you can still add some security to your password by adding the site name in front or in the end, i.e. FacebookMike54, YahooMike54, TwitterMike54. This won’t protect your account from guessing your other passwords if one is known, but it may help in cases where the site is hacked. Most sites don’t store passwords in plain text – they are encrypted and there is no way to find out other passwords if an encrypted password is stolen.
- Make a habit of changing all your passwords once in a few years. Even if some site is hacked and passwords retrieved, it may already be too late for the hacker, if you will have changed your password.
- If possible, enable two-factor authentication, which involves additional device or a card of codes when logging into the site. Read our guide about two-factor authentication.
- You can use Chica Password Manager to help you generate a strong password that won’t be hacked. With this useful utility you can organize your online passwords, protect everything with one strong password and use it as a guide regularly changing all your passwords.
- Malicious programs such as trojans or keyloggers running on your PC can steal your password, no matter how strong it is. Therefore it is very important to have an active protection running on your computer. SpyHunter can actively monitor all running processes and identify a malicious one, obviously removing it afterwards.
- If you receive an email regarding your online password, do not immediately click on any links in it. Phishing is a very common way to steal passwords, so first manually go to the website concerned and log-in there. If there is no mention of your account’s security or your compromised password, the email is most likely a phishing attempt.
If you have any more tips how to keep your passwords secure, or have any questions regarding the safety of your online accounts, don’t hesitate to drop a comment.