Today hackers use various methods to access online accounts. Most hackers prefer to attack accounts that use weak passwords because this way they manage to hack into many accounts at once without involving too much work. So if you’re one of those people that are notoriously bad at generating random passwords, than it is likely for you to become a victim.
Is Your Password Secure?
First of all, it depends on what type of password we talk about. If we talk about a simple PIN, than you would probably want to check this study accomplished by DataGenetics, and make sure you don’t use one of the most predictable PIN codes. I personally do not recommend you change your password nor with the least predictable PIN’s there, because like they said “hackers can read too”. Just try to avoid those combinations.
You can also check how strong are your passwords on How Secure Is My Password? – It does not store your password, it uses ssl, meaning that there is a secure, crypted communication between you and the server. HSIMP tells you a few characteristics of your pass, like: how common is it, how long should it take to get cracked, character variety and length level.
Another great resource and my favorite one so far is Should I Change My Password? – thankfully I used it only once, and couldn’t belive that one of my email accounts was hacked just few months back. SICMP helps you find out if your passwords have been compromised by checking a database that has over 50 million records and is updated whenever a new password database is made public.
Chosing And Storing Safe Passwords
You need to make your passwords strong and unique. Here you have two possibilities, you can store your passwords in your head, using an easy and logic algorithm, or you can use password generators and managers and become more zenish.
Some trusty sites that generate funky passwords for you:
- random.org – The randomness comes from atmospheric noise, which is more … random. You can generate how many lists of passwords you need.
- designeus.net – Pronounceable Password Generator. You can chose from 7 different password templates.
So if you didn’t find a way to memorize unlimited passwords, you can always chose password managers, that are pretty cool and easy to use. Here are my favorite ones:
- Passpack – Free online password manager. Store logins to all accounts. Share passwords with your team, on a need-to-know basis. 1 Click Login for everyone.
- LastPass – LastPass is an online password manager and form filler that makes web browsing easier and more secure.
Setup Two-Factor Authentication
So now that you have strong secure passwords for all your accounts, you can get to the next level, Two-Factor Authentication. This really prevents hackers from accessing your accounts.
Unfortunately Pass Managers have their weaknesses. If a hacker gets your master password, he gets all your passwords, so basically this is somehow more insecure than trying to remember many weak passwords. Passpack has already a two-factor authentication, and for LastPass all you have to do is set it up to bolster your master password with a second line of defense through Google Authenticator.
Google Authenticator can be used for the following websites and applications:
|Amazon Web Services||App.net||ArenaNet|
|DigitalOcean||Dreamhost control panel||Dropbox|
|Drupal||Evernote||Eclipse Mining Consortiu1|
|Google Apps||Google Mail||LastPass|
|Linode||LightDM / MDM / SSH||Microsoft account|
Hackers will always find vulnerabilities that can be exploited. The most important thing is for you to stay updated with all the news and releases that concern you. Do not rely on a hacker preventing technique from 5 years ago. Technology evolves, the world evolves and you need to stay fresh and always prepared. I’m not saying you need to be paranoid, just cautious. Use a separate email recovery, and another one for the main email recovery, so you won’t make all your strong passwords for nothing in case it gets hacked. Be wise, always put yourself in the position of the hacker.