Passwords: Your Secret Code That's Not So Secret
In 2017 a file with 1.4 Billion Leaked passwords was found. This file had been spread among different hackers and was being used to gain access to all different types of accounts. Bank accounts, email addresses, insurance logins, and social media logins were all available in this file. With news like that, it's no wonder breached accounts have become so prevalent. An internet full of leaked passwords and accounts means it's not a question of if a password of yours has been leaked, but which one it was.
Why is a Strong Unique Password Important?
At their core, passwords are your last line of defense against hackers breaking into an account of yours. Passwords ensure the security and confidentiality of your data and accounts by requiring you to build your own "secret code" that, hopefully, only you know. They are your key to the door of your account and data.
Think of it this way. If you didn't have a password, how well could your data really be protected? All someone would need is your name or username and they would be able to waltz right into your account. Passwords make it so that even if someone does have your name or username they still need to crack the code to get into the account. Because passwords are unique, they require a lot of computing power to crack the code. The more unique a password, the harder it is to break.
But if the password is weak, it can easily be broken.
The biggest security risk that your account has is your password. Through phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks and even brute force attacks, hackers can easily learn your password. And because we use so many logins these days people have resorted to using an easy-to-remember password and using that password to login to all of their accounts. So people have an easy key to duplicate and that key opens the door to all of the houses they own. Once a hacker has your password all they have to do now is try the same password and login over and over again on different accounts. Eventually, and more often than we'd care to admit, they get a hit and have more access to your data and accounts than they would have if you only used that password on one account.
Maintaining strong password discipline is a challenge, but it is the most important step you can take to make it more difficult for a hacker to breach you.
What Can I Do To Ensure My Password Security?
There are a lot of different steps you can take to ensure password security.
- Use a unique password for every single login
- Check to see if your accounts or passwords have been leaked online.
- Change the password of any account that has been leaked and immediately stop using any password that has been leaked.
- Create strong passwords made up of letters, symbols and numbers
- Use a password manager with AES 256 (NSA level) encryption. We personally recommend Paladin's Browser Protection with Password Manager
Take only one step and your are much better off. Take all of the steps and hackers will likely have an extremely difficult time breaking your password and getting into your accounts. Ensuring your password security will go a long in stopping hackers from getting your data and access to your accounts. Take the first step today and you are already on the right path.