Before we can get started, we first need a basis to get started from. A previous post on ProtectYourLogin.com gives an abbreviated list of commonly use passwords that make your account an easy target for even the most basic of hacking attempts. Other commonly use words/phrases like the name of your favorite sports team (i.e. Chiefs, Cardinals, etc) or type of sport can make your account easy to break into. It is unfortunate but in today’s world you have to go on the offensive and automatically assume that some time into going to try to get into your account. The key takeaway here is to be proactive on what you do, so you will have to spend less time in fixing the problem after it has occurred.
This may not seem like a big deal but with more websites offering the “convenience” of storing your credit card information in your profile, that increases the importance of having a good strong password. Before I get too far, let’s explain what a “strong” password is. This is generally a password that has both upper and lower case letters, at least one or two numbers and depending on the website, using one or more punctuation characters/symbols. It is generally accepted that a good password should be at least 8 characters in length. The longer the password the better. That comes with a trade-off. The longer the password is the more careful that you will need to be with entering it correctly. It is becoming more common with websites to automatically lock an account for a period of time after a certain number of password attempts or disable the account all together and make you call in to get the account reactivated. Having a good, strong password is just the beginning. One of the common hacks tried is that once a password has been identified, that is one of the first things that will be tried on another site. So if you use the same password on more than one site, the hackers job of getting into another account has just been made easier.
In coming episodes of this podcast, we will look at tools such as password managers to help with keeping your online accounts all in one place. This will also help in using unique passwords on each site. I am just as guilty as anyone else in using a unique password on every site. This is one area where password managers can help you come up with a difficult to guess password since they either have the function built in to do this or there are a variety of 3rd party apps written to do nothing but this.
There are also new method being developed to make it harder to get into an account. Those will also be looked at in future episodes. Some of the best options to protect your account are here today and are either free or very affordable to use. Others are in discussed or early proof of concept stage. If you see something that you would like to know about, reach out to me and I will see what I can come up with for use on a future podcast.
The second part of this episode is how to protect your LinkedIn account in as little as three steps. This is one of the first sites where we talk about something called Two Factor Authentication to increase the protection of your login account.
To learn how to protect your other social media and login accounts, please purchase a copy of my book “The Hackers Are Coming… How-To Safely Surf The Internet”. This book covers how to protect your other online accounts to make it as difficult as possible for someone to hack into your account.