We all have dozens of passwords for all our online accounts, so here are our top tips for password management
All passwords must be unique
Every password you have must be a unique set of numbers and letters. If you use the same password for every online account, you increase your risk of that password becoming compromised. When a website has a security breach causing email addresses and passwords fall into the hands of the wrong people, they then take those email addresses and passwords and try to login to other websites with the same information. If you have used the same password for multiple website accounts, you have then given the hackers access to that website too. You can keep the same base password, and then adjust it for each website. For example, one password may be Banana123! and then another account password might be Banana234! and so on.
Don’t keep your passwords saved on your computer
From time to time, we see a computer that has a document saved on it with a list of the customer’s passwords. The document is usually called something obvious like “My Accounts” or similar. This is a bad idea as if you accidentally fall victim to a scam and inadvertently allow a scammer to access your computer; then they can easily get these passwords. Instead, many of our customers keep a small notebook or folder with all of their computer documents and passwords written in.
Change your passwords every few years
It is not uncommon for websites to have security breaches. Even big companies with a good online reputation can have a breach in their online databases. It is a smart idea to update your passwords every few years. That way, if there has been a security breach with a company you are registered with that you are unaware of, a new password will renew your security. If you are keeping a notebook record as mentioned above, write down the date you last updated each password so you can ensure they have all been changed regularly. This is especially important if you have not had unique passwords in the past.
Turn on two factor authentication
Two Factor Authentication is a second layer of security for online accounts. It acts as a second barrier after your password. Many online accounts allow enabling two factor authentication so that after you type in your password, you then also have to enter another unique code that is sent to you via SMS or via a specialised app before you are granted access to the account. This means that even if there is a security breach and your password is compromised, the account cannot be accessed without access to your mobile phone or access to a second account (e.g. your email account). Go through all you’re accounts and turn on Two Factor Authentication in as many as possible.
Enlist our help
If you would like assistance auditing and improving your passwords and online security, our technicians have plenty of experience and knowledge in this area. We can sit down one-on-one and help you check your internet accounts and make sure you are safe from security breaches. Don’t wait until it is too late to improve your passwords. Get in touch with us today.