password security

The dangers of data breaches: Why password security is becoming increasingly important?

Data breaches are becoming a massive pain for big corporations and an even bigger problem for end users. Almost every day we hear about some sort of security issue regarding customer data, and that is probably just a tip of the iceberg since many go unreported for months or even years.

In the wake of these reports, your password security should be handled with great importance if you intend to keep such risks at bay.

How exactly do you ensure that your password is stored safely from hackers who are tirelessly looking for ways to gain entry into your private email accounts? What do they hope to find, and how do they intend to do with the information?

Dangers of data breaches on your personal accounts

You can’t underestimate the value of information stored in your email. When exposed, the information in your email could cause considerable harm to you and your loved ones. It connects you to other important subscriptions and services that send passwords to your email when you sign up for them.

This is why hacked email accounts are a goldmine to a hacker; they can access your vital information. Your bank account and credit card information as well can allow a hacker to commit whatever fraud they want with your credentials.

If you are a business owner, hackers can access your employee’s personal information and leak sensitive data.

Your account can also be hijacked; your passwords can be changed to shut you out of your email and your identity can be stolen. Hackers have many different ways to make money through your personal information. This could be detrimental to your privacy and safety as well as that of other people connected to you. If you can take measures to secure your password and steer clear of the looming dangers, wouldn’t you?

Here is how to store your passwords safely.

When it comes to password safety, complex passwords fair better than simple ones. If you want to create a secure password, it is safe to use a minimum of 8 but preferably more characters with a combination of both the upper and lower case letters. You can also consider incorporating various symbols.

Weak passwords make it easier for hackers to access your accounts. A password with only letters or symbols that are less than eight characters is much easier to crack than a password with over 14 characters comprising of symbols, upper/lower cases, and numbers.

Utilize Password Managers

Most password manager applications are designed intelligently to be instinctive and continuously monitor and improve your password security. A password manager can save you from having to memorize several passwords for your accounts. Some of the renowned password managers are the likes of Dashlane which not only generates but also secures passwords for you. Other applications that you can check out include the Roboform, 1Password, KePass, and LastPass.

Implement Safe Password Practices

There are some measures that you can take to safeguard your passwords known as Safe Password Practices. These include avoiding recycling passwords and reusing passwords on different sites. Passwords from the dictionary are more susceptible to threats; you should avoid them. Misspellings will offer you better security if you want to use dictionary words but always mix in some symbols.

Sequential letters or numbers are also a give way if you prefer letters while coming up with a password. For instance, if you use 7,8,9,10 following each other in that order, the password you create leaves you vulnerable.

Password doubling is another practice that you should refrain from. This happens when you type the same password twice to try and meet the length threshold. Instead of making your password stronger, you do the opposite; making it much weaker.

Password security dos and donts

Multi-Factor Authentication

Standard Passwords are not without vulnerabilities. Two-factor authentication, also known as multifactor authentication, adds an extra layer of protection to your passwords.

This solution is used by all kinds of businesses that seek to beef up their security so that hackers cannot breach their data. With this password security solution, you lower the chances of criminals gaining access to your confidential information as well as preventing identity theft.

Phishing scams have been progressively gaining ground, but with this tool, hackers can go past logins with your password and username details.

How does the Multi-Factor Authentication work?

This method works with the use of two pieces of evidence. For the email used to be granted access, they have to present two sets of evidence of an authentication mechanism. Usually, this information consists of something known to the user only, and something that only the user has.

An easy example of multi-factor authentication is the workings of an ATM. If you want to withdraw money from your bank account, you must meet two requirements first. One of the provisions is your ATM card, which qualifies as something that only you possesses. Secondly, your PIN, which qualifies as something only you knows.

What makes the 2-factor Authentication qualify as a form of good password security?

If someone were trying to log into your email or Google account and actually had your logins, your password would not be enough for the hacker. If a notification requesting authorization is sent to you, they would then need your phone to gain access, which they can’t.

Technology is improving over time and hackers are constantly improving their skills. It is, therefore, prudent to implement security practices to ensure that your passwords and accounts remain secure.

If criminals force access into your business, you could lose thousands of dollars. This is because some cybercriminals sell your information to other crooks who are versed with the knowledge of stealing through credit card fraud and identity theft. Those who are not interested in money might have far much worse reasons to access your private data like leaking your business confidential information.

Every business and individuals should strive to always adhere to the password security measures that are well suited for their business model and needs respectively. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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