Why You Should Secure Your Passwords Immediately

Why You Should Secure Your Passwords Immediately

Type “how to hack Facebook account” in your search engine. What is the first page of results filled with? Beginner to advanced level tutorials of how to hack a Facebook account. Your passwords are always a security vulnerability – a direct point of entry to some of your most important online accounts is a measly string of characters. On cyber security forums, it’s always the same news all year round.

Anonymous content published with your usernames online, credit card frauds, leaked confidential information of users – mostly because of stolen passwords. At the time of writing this article, 177 million Linkedin passwords and 642 million Myspace passwords were stolen and put up for sale. Accounts belonging to different websites such as Facebook, Google, etc. have also been hacked previously.

Nothing is private on the Internet; online security is just a myth. Passwords are a thin blanket that gives the illusion of warmth when instead you are exposed to freezing temperatures of winter. When even the security of banks can be compromised due to technical loopholes, your online accounts are just a click away from a breach.

Secure Your Passwords Immediately

Nowadays, almost every website, even some blogs, ask for user account creation using passwords. It is understandable if the website is providing some confidential details such as email services or sites requiring financial transactions. But if I want to just edit an image online or view some content promised via search description in search engine results, why should I have to waste precious minutes coming up with a unique combination of letters, symbols, and numbers that I won’t remember after five minutes? Just take my email, send me the content, spam me all you want, and be done with it. There is no requirement of setting up a new password every time I visit a website offering trivial services.

Here’s another reason why passwords are redundant in the current form in which they are being used. All sites have a password recovery system that is similar to a sign that says “Please don’t look under the carpet for keys.” That sign is a link called “Forgot Password?”, with several variations of it.

What happens when you forget a password? You click on the link that in turn sends you an email with another link where you can set your new password. So all one has to do is get hold of your primary email, and then all your passwords are in the hands of the hacker. Instead of putting up this show of passwords, if websites could just send links to access content without the overhead of maintaining passwords, that would be great.

What can you do to keep yourself secure online?

1. All passwords are crackable. So make sure that you keep changing your passwords, at least in important accounts such as your primary email so that a hacker’s database is almost always outdated pertaining to your account information.
2. Set up multi-step verification on sites that allow this feature. Example, Gmail allows two-step verification which requires OTP authentication after entering your password.
3. Do not set the same password for multiple accounts, especially if they already belong to your important accounts.

Security techniques need to evolve and keep up with hackers. Every time a new encryption algorithm is published, attempts to find loopholes and crack the algorithm ensues. Companies need to keep their security systems under constant watch, as the threat is not always from the outside. In several past cases, lone employees have managed to bring their company’s reputation to its knees. Users should be made aware of the importance of online security and what they can do to evade the hackers.

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