In this day and age more and more computers are being compromised by hackers. Some viruses can lay dormant without the user knowing until the hacker turns it on and wreaks havoc. In my field we need passwords to access our clients hosting/domain accounts, their email marketing service, facebook, twitter, paypal and even their gmail account (if they want us to set up their emails) on a daily basis and it’s alarming to see that 9/10 my clients will use the same password for each service.
This is the worst thing you could do. Not only does it make it that much easier for hackers to gain access to all your data, it also potentially stops you from resetting your passwords to re-gain access to your account. Think about it, if a hacker has access to one of your email accounts and you reset the password for your paypal account that get’s sent to that email address – well then the hacker has the new password to your paypal and thus continues the vicious cycle.
So what do you do? You certainly don’t want to have to remember a whole bunch of passwords right? I know I can’t. Well I’ve tried to provide a few simple steps to help you protect your personal information and how to remember all these NEW passwords your going to be using. See what I did there?
1. Stop using the same passwords for ALL your accounts!
I can’t stress this enough and to top it off some people use passwords like names and birth dates. A recent ZoneAlarm (virus protection company) conducted a survey where it found that 79% of consumers were using risky passwords. Here are some examples in order of the top 20 passwords of all time:
So how do you generate better passwords? You can use tools like Generate-Passwords.com. Don’t worry no data is stored, you just write it down and use it. It’s simple and effective. But how do you remember all these new passwords? Continue reading.
2. How do I remember all my passwords?
It’s super simple because technology is awesome. We have things like the iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone, Android Devices things that are with us always so forgetting a password shouldn’t be a problem anymore. I use and highly recommend 1Password. I have it on my phone and laptop and it’s great. Not only does it help me remember my passwords it keeps them safe in one place. 1Password also requires a master password to open the program – a perfect little function if your main computer is a shared computer in the house and you don’t want the kids to get access to your details. It comes with a built in password generator and can sync across multiple devices.
You can read more about it here: https://agilebits.com/onepassword
3. Change your password every 60 days.
And if you find yourself thinking “hmmm when was the last time I changed my password” it’s probably a good time to change it then and there.
4. Upgrade your browser.
I come across various articles on a daily basis which point out massive security vulnerabilities if you are not using the latest version of your browser. You see browsers have issues, all of them, and when an issue is found it gets patched/fixed by the browser maker, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer. So you need to continually update your browser to ensure these latest patches are protecting your information.
Here are some VERY simple guides on how to update your browser:
- Chrome: Read the guide here.
- Firefox: Read the guide here.
- Safari: Read the guide here.
- Internet Explorer: Read the guide here.
And that’s all there is to it. Well it’s a good start to securing your private information. In the weeks to come I’ll cover how to REALLY secure your data in certain situations. So stay tuned.
In the meantime if you want some more information or have any questions, drop me an email – I would love to help out.