A guide to keeping your password secure

A strong password keeps your account protected from any third person’s reach. However with an increasing number of data breaches and other methods is enough to make someone worried and in such cases, Two-factor authentication is considered as an ultimate and secure option, but do you know that there are other ways to secure your password as well?

These days hacking has grown rapidly. Hackers are enabled to break complicated codes and algorithms to steal personal information and credentials like name and addresses, account information, bank and credit card details, and private and sensitive data. They can use this data to harm you directly or use it for other malicious purposes. As cyber-attacks happen on and off, there are different methods used in attacks since the biggest cyber attack in history people have become more cautious about their security online. To protect online security and avoid these harms and other click baits and phishing schemes online, you should keep your password secure.

This guide aims at providing you with some ways with which you can secure your password from external breaches. Let’s dive in:

#1. Create a strong and secure password:

A strong and hard-to-guess password is the first step of your security. As general conscience is that password with words and number and even character is safe for example “[email protected]” however it is not that simple.

To create a strong password you should write a mixture of letters and characters like “[email protected][email protected]?2?3” can be considered as a strong one with at least 12-13 characters. Don’t use guessable passwords like birthdates, pet names, and others. Change names etc. into various patterns like “Tommy” into “T()/\/\@!\Y*”. Such passwords are known as passphrases. More characters mean a stronger password with at least 12-13 characters. They are hard to guess especially by hackers.

#2. You can use a password manager

If you have more online accounts and it is difficult to remember all then it is not wise to use the same password for all as it will make all of the accounts vulnerable. So for such cases, you can use a password manager like DashLane, LastPass, 1Password, and others that remember your password and automatically fill the password for direct login. The password manager is also capable of telling you if your password is weak and showing several suggestions for that. It will enable a direct login to applications and accounts both on your phone and PCs. And most importantly you will never forget a password with a password manager.

There are various password managers with new and unique features for example some have dark web filters to know if there is any password leak. You should install the best password manager on your device and it will do the work for you.

#3. Writing your passwords on paper but keeping them safe:

The best way to remember passwords is by keeping written records so that you can refer back to them whenever you want. This specifically works for the people who don’t trust a password manager. Another important thing is hiding the written password in a safe and accessible space for future use. But this is sometimes regarded as unsafe mean more specifically when you are surrounded by people that you cannot trust and the accounts that you have holds extremely sensitive data. So, in case if you want to write a password for easy access then do it at your own risk.

#4. Protecting device is important:

Secure your mobile phone, laptop, PC, or whatever you use to log in to various platforms. Don’t hand over your phone and device to anyone, especially to someone that you don’t trust. They’ll easily find your accounts passwords, may log in to your accounts, can do Harm to you and it will take them just a few minutes to do this.

To protect the device you should:

Set up a login PIN or password so that no one can get access to your device without you knowing. The Smartphone can also be PIN or password-protected, new Smartphone comes with fingerprint authentication and face recognition for secure login. These days app-lockers are also available that lock sensitive apps to prevent accidental opening.

To apply a password on your device you should:

  1. Go to Settings > Security.
  2. Screen lock.
  3. Choose the form of password.
  4. Enter your old password.
  5. Apply your new password two times and press confirm.
  6. You’re good to go.

For applying Passcode:

  1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.
  2. Select Change Passcode or Add Passcode
  3. Enter your old passcode > enter the new code > choose Custom Alphanumeric Code.
  4. Enter a strong password.

For PCs and desktops used by more than one person installing second browsers for example Firefox or Opera is the best and you can also monitor the usage as well.

  1. Use Two-Factor Authentication:

For your password security account providers asks you to enable two-factor authentication which means that is a two-step verification, the only password would not be enough to log in to your account instead you must have to enter other information for example phone number for secure login. This lowers the chances of anyone else’s access to your account only through passwords. Gmail accounts, social media accounts, and even password managers ask you to enable two-factor authentication and it is a must.

  1. Update your system:

Hundred of developers are working on different platforms to secure the privacy of their users. They regularly update their system and patch up the data holes to prevent any possible breach. These updates also consist of important algorithms to break the known methods and codes of hackers and other updates to make sure that any other person does not get into your privacy.

  1. Installing an Antivirus:

Ransomware and Trojan horse programs encrypt files and demand payments but steal your private data without you knowing. Bots take control of your device and send spam and deny service attacks leading to compromise your accounts and information. Downloading antivirus can help you get rid of this malware. Your antivirus must have ransomware protection otherwise if not then you should consider adding one, they are available for free as well.

Most windows come with built-in antivirus but they are not reliable you must have to take steps and precautions to keep yourself safe. Install antivirus, download updates, and keep it running in the background. It will scan your device and protect it from downloading any harmful software or PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). The green signs signal you to relax however if you notice yellow and red signals then it is time to get serious. You can check the effectiveness of your antivirus software via AMTSO (Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization). On their website is the security features check the page that can help you to know if your antivirus is working properly.

  1. Explore the Security Tools You Install:

You may find various security tools, even the built-in ones in your device are enough but most probably you don’t know about them let say for example have you ever tried to know that your Smartphone is built-in with the system to find it if it is lost? Similarly, there are a plethora of security tools either integrated with your device or the ones that you can download online. These security tools may help you in the scanning of applications that you download and others. You just have to learn about them and turn them on to secure your privacy online.

  1. Use Unique Passwords for Every Login:

It is not a wise thing to use the same password for different accounts as it gets more vulnerable to hacking attacks. As a safety measure, you should use different accounts with different passwords. And having a unique password for every login is the best thing to do to keep your privacy safe. Secondly, if some email from your accounts with social media information tries to look for your banking information you would already know that it is not true.

  1. Get a VPN to secure your internet traffic:

Never use public wifi you never know someone else is trying to steal important information you cannot even trust the owner of the network. To have a safe internet connection you should use a VPN that uses the company’s server to protect encrypt your internet to keep your data safe. it also hides the IP address and overwrites it with the VPN company’s address. It also can help you to use content that is not available in your country. In short, a VPN is a safe-to-go option.

  1. Clearing cache:

The cache is retrievable data with all your online information consisting of all the original information from the resources. It is so much important data as it tells everything that you have been doing online. It is important to delete your browser’s history, cookies, and cache regularly so that you’ll stay safe. Clearing cache also helps in maintaining the laptop’s performance however if you want to learn more then check how to maintain the laptop’s performance. By pressing Ctrl+Shift+Del you can easily delete your browser’s history from Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. Deleting cache is important but different users especially Mac owners are mostly unaware of is it safe or how to do it. There is a complete guide for Mac users on how to delete cache from Mac that you should check out.

  1. Don’t save the password in the browser:

Our browser has a feature that is “save your password” it automatically saves your password to the browser however it also makes it a lot vulnerable as it is really easy for someone to access all your saved passwords by going into settings> saved passwords. Also, in case if your window gets corrupted or any other issue then you might lose all your saved passwords. Some malware can access your password simply by important your browser’s storage, hence it is not a safe option at all.

  1. Stay away Prey to Click Bait or Phishing Scams

Emails, messages, links, etc anything can be a Clickbait or phishing scam. You should be careful and should never click any link from non-authentic sources. Whatsapp messages, spam emails, Cariou texts, and other means can be a threat. You should be careful and in case if you have already clicked certain links then change your passwords as soon as possible.

  1. Stay safe on Social media accounts:

You may have at least once tried that links on Facebook and Twitter saying what your future would be? Who is your girlfriend/boyfriend? Who stalks you the most? What animal do you look like? Well, breaking it to you none of the results is authentic it is based on your activity and account’s information. By clicking on such links and pressing “confirm” you allow them access to your account’s information all by yourself. If ever do this again then change your password beforehand. And check how to download your Facebook data to know that what information you have stored over your accounts and you are granting access to this information by clicking on all these fake links that you don’t need to know. By completely disabling the sharing platform and managing your Google privacy you can reduce the data being shared to google and other social media platforms like Facebook.

  1. Avoid storing passwords on your laptop or mobile device.

Never store your password on desktop and smartphones otherwise it seems like by doing so you would be inviting others to access your passwords and accounts. Your smartphone can be stolen or can get lost. For stealth protection location tracking is the best but first of all, prevent it from stealth. You can find various apps options to do so for example proximity alarm system etc.

  1. Immediately change your passwords after a data breach.

For someone whose account has been compromised the first important thing to do is to change passwords and learn that what missing precautions lead to the breach. There can be many reasons like spam, money requests, password resets on some non trusted applications and websites.  It can be a targeted attack as well and just knowing the reason of the target you can easily get to the culprit or at least know about the methods used for the attack. If you have any other account with similar login information of the account that has been hacked or breached then it is as vulnerable as the hacked account. Some users use the same passwords on multiple accounts. If your account has been hacked then you can get your account back though it may be difficult. To do so you should contact your account provider and prove that you’re the true account holder. If you are in the hacking department or want to learn about the laptops that hackers use then the best laptops for hacking will be a good option for you to check.

Summary:

Now we have the summary of all steps discussed in details above:

  1. Create a strong and secure password:
  2. Avoid using Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, or other personally predictable information as passwords.
  3. Avoid using the same password for more than one account.
  4. Avoid storing passwords on your laptop or mobile device.
  5. You can use a password manager.
  6. Install antivirus.
  7. Use security tools.
  8. Update your system.
  9. Protect your device.
  10. Don’t save the password in the browser.
  11. Get a VPN to secure your internet traffic:
  12. Clear cache regularly.
  13. Share passwords carefully both online and offline.
  14. Never write your sensitive passwords but if you do so then keep it safe.
  15. Use two-factor authentication.
  16. Never save passwords in your browser.
  17. Use more than one email address for different accounts.
  18. Immediately change your passwords after a data breach.

Conclusion:

We hope that all the above tips are enough to secure your passwords. Always keep in mind that though nothing is safe online we can do our best to save ourselves from phishing scams, online breaches, targeted attacks, and other hacking and the first step is to secure your password. Stay Safe online!

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