A high percentage of people recycle and reuse the same passwords, leaving their accounts open to security breaches. In fact, research showed that poor password practices tend to be a global issue that significantly undermines users’ online security.
Using the same credentials repeatedly for different accounts may be convenient, but it’s not the safest idea. If a hacker cracks your password, all the accounts protected by it are at risk of getting hacked. This can include your banking applications, social media accounts, emails, and any other sensitive information using the stolen credentials.
How password hacks are carried out
1. Social engineering attacks and phishing
Phishing and social engineering attacks are different hacking techniques where the hacker does not need to use special tools to guess password combinations. In this kind of attack, the hacker impersonates a trusted colleague or organization to build trust and lure victims into sharing their sensitive data. Their preferred methods of deception are sending spoofing emails or SMS messages.
2. Brute force attacks
This is a type of cyber attack where a hacker uses an automated program that uses different password combinations to guess your login details. While this method can eventually crack passwords, it can often take a long time to break strong passwords, making it one of the least used methods by hackers.
3. The dictionary hack
This is a hacking method where hackers use a dictionary tool to crack passwords. This tool checks the list of most commonly used words and password combinations. Dictionary attacks are relatively easy and quick to execute, especially for accounts with weak passwords.
How to secure your passwords and logins
1. Create strong passwords for your accounts
The first line of defense for your accounts is a strong password. Even without a password manager, it is crucial to ensure you set highly secure passwords. The best ones should include letters in upper and lower cases, special characters, and numbers. The length of your password is also important and should be at least ten characters long.
2. Download a password manager
The best way to avoid using the same passwords for all your accounts is by investing in a password manager. The password manager creates and saves unique passwords for all your accounts and auto-fills login details whenever you need to log into your accounts. This eliminates the need to memorize your passwords or use the same password for all your accounts.
3. Encrypt your online traffic with a VPN
A VPN is an ideal tool for protecting your devices and data from getting into the wrong hands. With a VPN app, you can enhance the security of your devices and the security of the data saved and transferred to and from the device.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) also guarantees protected access to your accounts, even on public Wi-Fi networks, by creating an encrypted channel from your device to the internet. All your passwords and login credentials will pass through this secure channel to ensure zero accessibility for lurking hackers and spying bots.
Security tools to further secure your online activities
1. Using an antimalware program
Malware can be any program meant to cause harm to your network or steal your data. This includes Trojans, viruses, worms, spyware, and keyloggers. An antimalware program is a network security tool that identifies and prevents these attacks from spreading.
2. Anomaly detection
Network anomaly detection engines (ADE) make it easy for you to analyze present network anomalies. This way, you get to learn of a breach ad soon as it occurs, ensuring you can counter it before it wreaks havoc on your network.
3. Endpoint security
With more and more people working off-site, many personal computers are used to get work done remotely. Personal devices are a prime target when used to access company networks. Enhancing your endpoint security introduces an additional layer of protection between the company network and remote devices.
While it is impossible for a password to be 100% hackproof, following the tips in this article guarantees enhanced network and device protection, making it harder for hackers to access your devices and data.