The threat of cyber attacks and the hacking of personal social media accounts is a very real threat, especially now as I guarantee Russia will be stepping up there cyber war on the west. Passwords are our number one line of defence, here are our top tips to keep your online world safe. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to act now.
- Use strong passwords
- Never use the same password more than once
- Activate Two factor authentication
- Use a password Manager / Safe to store and manage your passwords
Strong passwords are a must, this is where a password manager comes in, I will explain later in this article, user name and password lists are bought and sold every day on the black market, if your password is weak it will be easily guessed or may already be known. If your password is compromised and you use it for a number of sites, the cyber criminals have access to all of them. I strongly advise everybody who is not using a password manager to do so as soon as possible, or at the very least, change your passwords to strong unique ones on all your social media sites and any other sites with sensitive information.
Use two factor Authentication
This is a system where a password alone is not enough to access a site. The easiest method is to register your mobile phone as the second line of defense, once activated, when you enter your password, a message is sent to your phone with a pin number that you must enter into the next stage of logging in. Most social media platforms have this option as do all banks and financial institutions.
Remembering all those long complex passwords is a nightmare and a real hassle, your device can remember them for you but this in itself is a risk if the device is lost or stolen. The answer is a password manager. A password manager generates strong passwords for you and stores them in a safe store in the cloud. You have a master password with two factor authentication that unlocks your safe and once unlocked will automatically enter your passwords for you. The safe locks after a certain amount of time or when the device is switched off. You can also access your safe anywhere on any device. If your device is lost or stolen the passwords cannot be accessed by prying eyes. There are many trusted managers out there, personally I use and recommend Roboform for this.