The use of almost all Internet services requires making an account. These accounts require personal information from users, such as first name, last name, date of birth, place of residence, etc. It’s also possible that these services sometimes possess even more information on users, such as: correspondence records, personal and business communications, social networks, bank accounts, etc. Businesses that provide these services try their best to protect this information. But you play the main role here. Choosing a password that can’t be guessed easily and is not used elsewhere is your responsibility.
There are two ways to hack accounts that you need to be wary of:
- The first is hacking by a person. These are attempts by hackers to guess your password by using information already known about you, or by fooling you. To guard against these, you should definitely NOT use your birthday, the names of your family members, or any information that someone with access to your social network profiles can guess. Choose your passwords in a way that makes it difficult for others to guess.
- The second kind of hack is by a bot or computer program. Dedicated hackers have algorithmic code crackers that cycle through random letters and numbers that are likely to be part of your password, until they get the right result. These are harder to protect against, but also more rarely used. You can protect yourself against these by using long passwords containing phrases, numbers, and symbols. Two-factor authentication is also a good way to block such a threat.
Do not use passwords that are the same or similar for different online accounts. Doing so puts all of your accounts at risk, in case your password is leaked. In addition, make sure to change your passwords regularly.
Think about your email or your Facebook account. Do you follow these suggested guidelines? Often, users do not, as it’s difficult to remember long, complex passwords. Even so, there are useful tools to help you solve this problem; tools that help you in creating and storing safe passwords. One of these tools is called KeePass, which we'll talk more about in the "Use what you know" section.