We use the Internet for everything, from texting our friends to ordering groceries and watching TV shows. As technology footprint increases in our lives, it gets more important to keep ourselves secure and protect our private information from threats.
In these set of posts, I will cover different aspects of security with practical steps. You are able to protect yourself against online threats. These topics are not new. But I think, aggregation of these topics can help everyone become a pro.
You definitely don’t need a security advisor for your Instagram account to protect it from hackers! You are able to do it all by yourself.
This is a multipart story. We will be covering these topics throughout the serie:
- Passwords (this story)
- 2-Factor Authentication
- Email Services and Email Clients
- Smartphone Apps Security
- Cloud Services and Encryption.
- Messaging Services
- Photo Storage Services
In this story, I will cover passwords.
Yes, password field is the oldest keyhole to protect online data and still the most important one.
Choose a complex password
Simple passwords are usually easier to remember, but they are also easier to guess! Even if you combine two or three simple passwords to build a stronger one, it’s still not strong enough. There are various hack attack methods which targets passwords, the most famous one is dictionary attack. It includes thousands of words with different dictations to guess passwords. If you use a simple password, it’s more likely it can be guessed easier.
There are lots of ways to create a rememberable password. For example, you can try creating a long sentence (meaningful or meaningless) with some characters replaced with symbols. You can also use random password generators.
I will cover using password managers later in this post which allows you to easily create passwords (and remember them). So keep reading. :)
Do not reuse your passwords
In early days of using computers, we usually memorized a password that we could easily remember and we used it everywhere on the Internet. It’s not a good practive anymore. (It wasn’t in the first place though!)
If you still use the same password on different websites and services, your information is in danger! Let’s see why:
We hear lots of news about data breaches and database hacks everyday. Hackers get access to various unsecure (or even very secure) online services on datacenters and sometimes they reach to the list of credentials and personal information of users of those services. Those data often published and sold on websites and forums on dark web. The hackers (or anyone with access to those breached information) will typically try those creadentials on other websites too. So if your information is included in one of these breaches and you have used the same password on other services, your information on those services are also not protected anymore.
Choose a password manager
Password managers are applications which enables you to create strong passwords and store them securely in an encrypted database. They also help using those passwords easily when needed by using browser extensions. By using a password manager, you need to only memorize a single password (aka. master password) which unlocks the password manager which holds all your passwords. You enter your master password and the app will do the rest. It will create a strong password for the website or app you are signing up in, and also will remember to enter the same password when you try to login in those services later!
There are various password managers out there which you can choose from. I use 1Password for many years now. If you already use one, comment it below!
This is the end of the first story of this serie. We are going to cover many other aspects of protecting your digital life in the next stories. Stay safe! 😎
The illustration above is created by vectorjuice.