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The Importance of Keeping Your Passwords Protected

by Emma Wilson

More of our personal data than ever before is now online.

This means it is at risk of being stolen or discovered by cyberattacks, leaving us in danger of blackmail, robbery, or identity fraud.

Having a secure password is one of the best ways that we can counter these threats, so we must keep our passwords protected in the safest way possible.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways our passwords might be at risk and how using software, such as a password vault, can help make us safer online.

Password Security Threats

A compromised password will allow criminals to access your personal accounts. Strong passwords are essential to keep you safe from most online attacks.

In the past, it was simpler to create a strong password that was also memorable and would keep the attackers at bay. Simple tricks like changing a letter for a number to keep the word readable would be enough.

However, these days the hackers have become smarter, and this is no longer sufficient to keep your data safe.

Let’s look at the average hacker’s toolbox and see how they can access your passwords.

Brute Force Attacks

These types of attacks have been around for a long time. Hackers use programs to run through every combination of letters and numbers on a system until they find the right password.

It works really well on short, uncomplicated passwords. For example, criminals can crack in a password without a unique character in under two minutes. Longer passwords will delay the process, but the password’s complexity will prevent brute force attacks from being possible.

Phishing

Scammers who use phishing may use various approaches to try and get you to reveal your data. They can approach you by email, text, or phone. It is a common approach on social media where a scammer will pretend to have a personal connection with you.

They often pretend to be somebody you will believe would require your data, like a service you may use or an organization you use. They may even pretend to be someone you know.

Social Media

People reveal a lot about themselves online. Your social media profile probably contains your birth date and even the birthdays of the people closest to you. These are popular (if deeply insecure) passwords, and it only takes a little bit of browsing on your account to crack them.

Data Breaches

Hackers target big institutions all the time in an attempt to steal their passwords and user information. Once they have infiltrated a smaller, less well-defended organization, they then have email addresses and passwords for thousands of accounts.

Rather than remembering numerous passwords, people reuse their account information across multiple accounts. This means that the hacker now has your password for many other services and can access them as well, without your knowledge.

Poor Password Management

There are many ways you can make it easier for criminals to discover your data. Many of us have bad habits when it comes to keeping our personal data secure.

You need to follow some golden rules if you want to keep your personal information as safe as possible from cyber threats.

Using the same password for every account is an absolute no-no. Once one copy of your password becomes insecure, then all of your passwords are. You need to have strong, unique passwords for every single account you have.

Don’t save your passwords on your phone,  paper, or even in your browser password manager. All of these places are deeply insecure and can be uncovered by the simplest of hacks.

Using a secure password manager is the only way to be sure that your password is secured online. It will remember all of your passwords for you and ensure that they are never revealed to anyone when you access your favorite sites.

The Importance of Strong Passwords

A strong password is essential these days. As mentioned above, hackers can break through most simple passwords with a brute force attack. Changing one letter for one unique character is no longer enough. 

The trouble is that remembering strong passwords can be difficult. They are often a nonsensical long combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Using a tool like a password vault will help with this.

These powerful security tools will recall all your passwords for you when you access them. You can have longer, complicated, and less risky passwords and not have to worry about remembering all the characters.

Using Two-Factor Authentication

Take your security to the next level with two-factor authentication (2FA). If a site offers the opportunity to use 2FA, then you should take it. It adds a step where after entering your password, you will need to enter a code sent either by text or email to your personal devices.

This will prevent hackers from simply brute force attacking your accounts with any stolen passwords. The 2FA check will prevent them from accessing the account even if the password has been compromised.

Even better is that as the true account holder, you will receive notification that someone is trying to access your account. For this reason, 2FA is essential for online security these days.

Enterprise Password Management

What about when you are not the only person who needs to access a shared space online? There may be numerous situations where you and a colleague or a third-party contractor need to access a shared server or website.

First of all, you should never share passwords between multiple parties. Particularly off-site employees or contractors. It may appear easier to provide account details, but this is deeply insecure and could put your company at risk. Instead, you should use a password manager for the business.

Good password management software should provide tools for enterprise password management. You need a team password manager that will allow secure access to the tool but not directly to the passwords themselves.

This way, anyone working remotely or as part of a large team could access the services they need without even seeing the account password.

Keep Your Data Secure With a Password Vault

Using a secure password manager is essential these days to ensure that your account details are kept safe from online criminals and cyber threats. More than ever, we need to stay vigilant and use password security best practices online.

If you are looking for the best password manager, then take a look at our password vault and give it a try with a free trial.