If you’re like most people, you have a lot of online accounts. They’re all important to you, but it’s not always clear how to secure them. We’ll give you some tips on how to protect your online identity from the threat of hackers and scammers.
Use a password manager
If you’re like most people, you have a ton of accounts to keep track of. That’s pretty understandable. It’s hard to remember everything from your favorite websites to that account you signed up for five years ago and haven’t used since. To make matters worse, many companies don’t let you use spaces or special characters in your passwords.
If this sounds familiar, there’s good news: there are ways around this! The easiest way is by using password manager software. Such software will store all the passwords for all the sites you visit in one place, making them easy to access and change when needed. They also generate random passwords for each site.
You can find some great ones online like LastPass or Dashlane, but there are some drawbacks. They cost money and could be dangerous if someone hacked into them. However, these aren’t the only options out there either.
Never reuse passwords
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, sites or devices.
If you reuse a password across your various accounts, and one of those gets hacked, all of your other accounts are also suddenly at risk.
Your email address is the foundation of a lot of personal information. It can unlock access to bank records, credit cards, and more. If someone knows your email address and can guess what password you used, they may be able to get into any other account connected to that email address.
It’s also essential not ever use someone else’s credentials when logging in through an app or website to where you’ve been granted temporary access. Doing so could compromise their security measures as well as yours!
Always use two-factor authentication whenever it’s available
Two-factor authentication is a second layer of security that can be added to many online accounts and apps, including email and social media. It’s an extra step that makes it harder for someone else to access your account.
Two-factor authentication sends you a code via text message when you log in. The code is needed to verify that it’s really you trying to access the account. It may seem cumbersome initially, but it provides unfathomable peace of mind.
Use long and complex passwords containing a random mix of numbers, letters, and special characters
The first step to protecting your online accounts is ensuring you have a complex, long password. Your password should be at least 12 characters long and contain both letters and numbers. However, it shouldn’t be any old combination of letters and numbers.
Let’s focus on creating a strong password that can withstand brute-force attacks. The easiest way to do this is by using a random mix of characters from the following list:
- Numbers (0–9)
- Special Characters (` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & *)
- Letters A-Z (lowercase and uppercase alike)
Don’t enter your password on someone else’s machine
Don’t do it for any reason, no matter how much you trust the person next to you. If a friend or family member asks for your password, don’t give it to them. And if they know yours but not theirs, that’s an even bigger red flag!
There are other ways of being tricked by seemingly trustworthy people. Social engineering scams have been known to use fake apps or websites that ask users to log into their accounts so they can supposedly “fix” something on their end. These are very common in phishing attacks meant to steal personal data.
The best way to avoid these kinds of attacks is by having strong passwords with different ones for every account and keeping them all safe.
You also shouldn’t share login details with anyone else who doesn’t need access.
Online security is a serious issue, and using strong passwords is the best way to protect yourself online. Following these steps and using a password manager can protect your online accounts from hackers.
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