Now that we have surrounded ourselves with several digital devices exercising the required safety measures is crucial. Unfortunately, most security practices are overlooked or abandoned when they become inconvenient. So, how can you make your accounts and devices more immune to threats without sacrificing seamless use?
Throughout this guide, you’ll learn the golden rules for better password hygiene and the various ways to keep them secure.
Strive to Keep Passwords Long and Complex
It would help to always use strong passwords for any service, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Maybe that account has no importance to you, but hackers can use the account to backtrack the IP address and access more sensitive information.
So, keeping all your passwords as long and complex as possible is best. That means typing a long string or phrase for every account, including letters, numerals, and special characters. Try using upper and lower cases in no discernible order for the alphabet.
Don’t Repeat the Same Password
One password should protect one account. Even variations of the same combinations are also a security risk. The best option is to get a password manager and store all passwords. There are many password managers, many featuring autofill features for quick access.
However, avoid saving passwords in browsers. These programs are frequently exposed to vulnerabilities. Thus, a flaw could facilitate unauthorized access to stored passwords.
How About Generating Passwords with Browsers?
Eventually, you’ll run out of phrases and strings you can recall without looking up a reference. In that case, it’s time to move up and let the computer do the heavy lifting for you. Enter password generators that can create a secure password within seconds.
Since you’ll use a browser to access a domain on the internet, you can use it to generate a password whenever you create a new account. However, there are more secure options. Instead, a password manager can also help you generate a random combination for your new account.
Use a Reliable Password Manager
Password managers store all your passwords in an encrypted form, so none of the staff can figure them out. Moreover, they are secured in a cloud service, enabling you to access them with an internet connection. All you will need to remember is the master password, unlocking access to your password manager. Also, double that protection by enabling 2FA for your password manager.
Also, you should guarantee that your browsing happens from a secure network. At home, it might be easy to follow network security rules. For instance, you apply the appropriate encryption, set strong passwords, or even hide SSID. However, it is more complicated when you use unknown networks.
Internet connections you gain in hotels or restaurants are not always safe. Thus, get VPN services to guarantee that the network encrypts your internet traffic as it should. A Virtual Private Network is an application that you can install on any device you prefer. For instance, a VPN for Windows means you get to protect your internet traffic on your computer at home. When you go out, do not forget to enable a VPN for smartphones as well.
Enable 2-Factor Authentication
It helps to have external verification factors to ensure the identity of the one logging in. A proven way to do that is to use 2-factor authentication, or 2FA for short.
Applying 2FA to any account verifies your identity by sending a code or link through a registered ID. That can be a notification on an app (Steam Authenticator), a code to your email (Meta), or a text message to your phone (Google). The extra input takes a few more seconds to log in but ensures that your account remains safe from unauthorized access.
Update Software and Operating Systems
Vulnerabilities can be found in any software you use. So, take the time to install the latest updates. Only then can you be sure to use a secure and patched version.
Maintain Your Firewall
To avoid malicious programs from infecting your system, you must have updated antivirus software. It can enhance your firewall and scan for intrusive connections. Furthermore, it secures your computer from trojans that sneak in through cookies or installer packages.
With cybercriminals getting bolder and more innovative, it’s up to us to adopt any new digital media securely. We hope these rules for better password hygiene help you secure your digital identity for foreseeable future.