Let’s face it: it’s easy to forget your passwords. Many internet users use simple words, such as the name of a pet, or easy-to-remember dates, such as a wedding anniversary date. To gain access to your computer, a hacker will try to discover your password by entering your name, that of your children, dates of birth or the name of your pets. With a little luck, he will thus be able to access all your personal, confidential and financial data.
Using secure passwords becomes more important than ever. Hackers are hungry for passwords because they have significant financial value. As a result of data and password leaks, thousands of accounts become vulnerable and susceptible to attack by cybercriminals. With two-factor authentication (2FA), you get an extra level of protection that hackers can’t easily breakthrough. Indeed, the criminal will have to obtain more than a user name and a password. You may already be using this method without realizing it. Your bank card is based on two-factor authentication (the physical card and the secret code).
Protect your sensitive data by getting more information about the 2FA method and using a few key tips on creating passwords.
The 2FA method
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a method of verifying identity that allows you to add a second authentication factor in addition to your account password.
Information that you know: a PIN code, a password or a diagram.
An object you have: a bank card or a credit card, a mobile phone or a security token, such as a key or USB token.
A physical characteristic: biometric authentication, by a voice or digital fingerprint, for example.
Does this completely protect you from hacking?
Zero risk does not exist and your account may remain vulnerable to hacking through password recovery options. In general, recovering a forgotten password involves resetting your password by email and completely bypass two-factor authentication. You can, therefore, be vulnerable if the attacker managed to access the email account associated with the account on which you use the 2FA method. Watch carefully for password change request messages that you receive on your email account.
Password security measures you should take
Use the following tips to create secure passwords:
Creation of strong passwords
Do not use any personal information. It is strongly discouraged to include words such as your name or the names of family members or pets in your passwords. Also, do not use easily identifiable numbers, such as your address, telephone number, or date of birth.
Do not use words from the dictionary. Password cracking tools are very effective in helping attackers to guess your password. These programs test all dictionary words, as well as combinations of letters and numbers until they find a match. Avoid using common names, proper names, or personal names. * Use several types of characters. By mixing uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters like “&” or “$”, you increase the complexity of the password and thus reduce the risk of hacking into your system.
Set longer passwords. It is recommended to create passwords containing at least eight characters. Longer passwords are more difficult to identify; it is a law of probability.
Find easy-to-remember expressions and modify them. Here’s a tip: think of a passphrase (like a song excerpt), then use the first letter of each word, replacing some letters with numbers. For example: “One kilometre on foot, it wears shoes” could become “1K @ Pçuls0”.
Secure password storage
Do not write them down. Resist the temptation to hide your passwords under your keyboard or display them on your screen. Sadly, stories of hackers finding passwords in the trash or “looking over your shoulder” are not rumours.
Use a password management tool. To store and remember your passwords securely, use a tool that stores your list of usernames and passwords in encrypted form. These tools can even make your job easier by filling in the information for you on certain websites.
Password management and updates
Change your passwords regularly. Passwords for online bank accounts should be changed monthly or bi-monthly, while login credentials for your computer should be changed quarterly.
Use a different password for each account. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. If a hacker finds out, the information in all of these accounts could be compromised.
Do not enter passwords on computers that you do not control. When using your laptop from a Wi-Fi hotspot or a computer in a coffee shop, avoid all activities that require a username and password (such as online shopping or banking). In fact, your data could be intercepted via the wireless network or by keyloggers.
In terms of protection, passwords are just one piece of the puzzle. To create a safer online environment, you should also use a firewall and other security products to protect your system from hackers and protect your online identity.
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