Protecting Your Password

| July 5, 2013 | 2 Comments

Protecting Your Password

That’s exactly what they want, it’s your password!  In today’s digital world security is unfortunately not a foresight set in the minds of most users.  People don’t really think about how secure their IPads, Blackberry’s or Androids are because they don’t know any better.

They think because they’ve downloaded a free antivirus app online for their laptop that they don’t need to worry about being hacked.  Regrettably this false sense of security is what gets people into a lot of trouble, and allows the opportunity for hackers to steal people’s lives.

The Weakest Link – You and Your Password!

The human component is always the weakest link in any security setup.  That means you are your own worst enemy.  Security has to be a way of everyday thinking, not just something you download once and forget about.  “You and Your Password” are the barrier that hackers are looking to break.  Once they have access to your password(s) its game over.  If you do any online banking, and a hacker obtains your banking password they can do so much damage to your life, it’s unreal.

A smart hacker isn’t just going to take your money, now that they have access without you knowing, they are going to open credit cards in your name, purchase items online, apply for loans, and gain access to all your personal information that the bank has on you…  All because they now know your password!

Protect your password, never enter your password on free wi-fi connections.

Never share your password with anyone!

Important Tips to Protect Your Secure Password

Public Access Computers (Cyber Café’s / Libraries / Hotels): Never log into anything sensitive that requires a password on a public access computer.  If you do, you are just inviting trouble through the front door.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a Cyber Café, or the Public Library – computers in public areas may have malware and/or spyware on them that would record everything you type, every webpage you visit and ever document you open (and then some)!

Unsecured Wi-Fi Connections: Never enter passwords or other sensitive information when using an “Unsecured Wi-Fi Connection”.  Any data transmitted over these unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be captured by hackers without you ever knowing.  How do you know if the network you are on is unsecured?  Easy, if the network you just joined didn’t require you to enter a password to get on it, well then, it is unsecure.

I would even be weary of Wi-Fi connections at coffee shops that do require a password for their Wi-Fi network.  Reason being… that password is now shared by 100’s (if not more) of other people.  Who’s to say that someone on that network isn’t monitoring all the data being transferred?  Just remember that if anyone can access it, password or not, then it’s not secure connection by any means.

“Remember Me? – Well Don’t! Never use the “remember me” feature on websites and found within most apps.  All it takes is for you to forget and walk away or even worse lose your device (or have it stolen).  If that happens then whoever has it now can easily login to any of those “Remember Me” accounts!  Dohh!

Building a Strong / Secure Password

– Never include personal information in any of the passwords you create!
– Change your password frequently, it keeps them guessing.
– The longer the better… make sure your password is at least eight characters long with upper and lower case letters, as well include numbers, special characters and/or even spaces if the system allows it, remember the longer the better.
– Always use different passwords for different accounts, most people use the same one password for all their online accounts.  Always ensure high-value websites such as your online banking account password is unique and not shared with any other account you own.
– Never share your password with anyone, not friends, not family, not anyone.
– Always make sure you have your mobile Bluetooth turned OFF!
– Always ensure your mobile device is password protected and locked.

Most Popular Passwords Used by People in 2012!

These passwords are the current most popular passwords used in 2012 by users online in comparison to passwords used by users in 2011.  If your password is in this list or resembles anything close to any password in this list, then you need to change it right away!  I mean it, right away!  Why you ask?  Well because these passwords below are at the top of every hackers password dictionary database, these passwords you see here are the 1st ones hackers try to gain access with, so if you see yours here, delete and make a new one.

  1. password (Unchanged since 2011)
  2. 123456 (Unchanged)
  3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
  4. abc123 (Up 1)
  5. qwerty (Down 1)
  6. monkey (Unchanged)
  7. letmein (Up 1)
  8. dragon (Up 2)
  9. 111111 (Up 3)
  10. baseball (Up 1)
  11. iloveyou (Up 2)
  12. trustno1 (Down 3)
  13. 1234567 (Down 6)
  14. sunshine (Up 1)
  15. master (Down 1)
  16. 123123 (Up 4)
  17. welcome (New)
  18. shadow (Up 1)
  19. ashley (Down 3)
  20. football (Up 5)
  21. jesus (New)
  22. michael (Up 2)
  23. ninja (New)
  24. mustang (New)
  25. password1 (New)

Source (Passwords of 2012): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/most-popular-worst-passwords-of-2012-splashdata_n_2018587.html

Does Your Password Pass The Test?

Sometimes when you set a password a “password meter” appears telling you if your password is weak, medium, or strong.  Always make sure your password is strong or above.  Never set a weak password, weak passwords can usually be broken within a matter of seconds.

Here are a couple of websites for you to test your password strength.  I do advise however that you be careful with sites such as these as some of these sites are setup to steal your passwords.  Never put the actual password you use into one of these sites, but putting something similar however is alright.  Using sites like these will help you to understand how quickly passwords you use can be broken, and help you to build a habit of creating stronger passwords all together.

Recommended Links (Sites to Test Your Password Strength):

Test Your Password directly with this website.

This site helps you generate a more secure password and can tell you if your current password doesn’t match up to security standards.

Trying to beat unsecured wi-fi connections, build a better password.

This site gives a little more descriptive info on what the difference between weak, medium, strong and very strong passwords are, as well as a more in-depth breakdown of your current passwords.

Find out instantly how unsecure your password is with this website.

I enjoy this site the most, as it tells you how quickly someone will break your password as well as inform you of your mistakes for creating the current password.  Keep in mind however that some code breakers are better than others, so in this image 17 thousand years is more an estimate than a prediction.

Building a stronger password, making it more secure.

The password meter website gives the most detail about how to secure your password, it is a great tool to learn from.

  1. Microsoft Security: http://www.microsoft.com/canada/protect/protect-yourself/identity-theft/article.aspx?article=Check-your-password-is-it-strong
Keeping your password secure is important.

As all things Microsoft – this site does not tell you much. The last time this was updated was 2010, so be wary.

Protecting Your Password Recap!

Learn to always make it a habit to think in terms of security.  Never share your password with anyone, and always be aware of how and when you input sensitive information into a device.  Whether it is at the Public Library, a Cyber Café, or at a friend’s house?  Wi-Fi connections you may think are secure could be compromised at anytime.  Also don’t be afraid to utilize tools you can find online to better educate yourself about better security practices.  Knowing more about what makes you at risk, helps you better prepare and avoid having your password, and your life stolen.

I hope this article helps.

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Category: Web Security, Web Tools

Comments (2)

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  1. Mouhemed says:

    If you’re a cynical web user when it comes to pracivy and security — of course you are, right? — then you’re probably asking yourself whether or not a site where you type in your password to see if it’s been compromised could possibly be legit. But the folks at LastPass ensure that the tool is safe and does not store passwords.Here’s how it works: After typing your LinkedIn password into LastPass’s tool, the service computes its SHA-1 hash and sends the result to LastPass.com. It then searches the list of 6.5 million leaked password hashes.“All that’s communicated to LastPass is the hash ‚c4ee the result of the one-way function performed on the password that a user enters in that box,” a LastPass spokesperson told Mashable. “So let’s say you enter ‘password1.’ You enter it and the tool performs the hashing algorithm. The hash is then sent to LastPass, and if a match is found in the database (of the 6.46 million leaked hashes) on our end, we report back a message saying that your password was compromised.”The spokesperson also noted that the hashes are not stored on its servers: “We don’t store the hash on our end. We only perform the check and then delete it.”Brooklyn developer Chris Shiflett created a near-identical tool called LeakedIn that appears to operate in the exact same way. On his blog, Shiflett discussed how he built the tool to find out his own password was leaked (and subsequently cracked). -4Was this answer helpful?

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