How to Protect Your Password

How to Protect Your PasswordSo many different sites and services online require you to have a login and password in order to take advantage of what they have to offer. More than that, they often have a specific set of requirements for that password that include specific lengths, character types, and formats that must be adhered to in order to sign up for the service. These rules, along with many others in the world of security, can make protecting your password a real chore. Here are a few tips on how to protect your password.

Use a Different Password for Every Site

Unfortunately, these rules can make remembering your password difficult, especially when you use a different one for each service. While it might be easy to remember a single password for every site, this is a bad idea. If someone maliciously acquires your passcode, they are likely to try it on a multitude of other popular sites in an attempt to gain as much access to your life as possible.

Take Advantage of Services like LastPass and KeePass to Keep Up with Passwords

Giving your password to a service or third-party software may sound like a really bad idea, but if the service or software is given the thumbs up by a multitude of security experts, the advantages may far outweigh the risks. With LastPass, you can generate and store passwords that are far more complex than any you could conveniently remember. When you open your browser, you can securely log in to LastPass and  begin surfing the Web as you normally would. When you come to a secured page that asks you to log in, LastPass will handle entering these credentials for you. Those 25-character passwords are no longer a problem with an app keeping track of them for you.

Another advantage to LastPass may come in terms of avoiding keyloggers grabbing your vital information. Because you don’t have to type any of the passcodes in yourself, and all of this is handled using an encrypted channel, you’ve got a lot less to worry about.

Be Cautious of Any Offer That Arrives in Email

Email newsletters are a great way to keep up to date with the latest offerings of your favorite online company. Unfortunately, scammers know this and like to take advantage of any perceived security an official-looking email can provide. If you receive an email from a company that you know and trust, don’t click on any links provided in the email unless you expected that particular message to arrive. Often, these links can send you to a page and server that appears to be legitimate. They may require you to log in or send your password somewhere. Companies that deal with massive amounts of online accounts never need your password unless you’re logging in directly from the official site, itself. Special deals that appear too good to be true often are.

It’s never a bad idea to search for confirmation on a particular email through the company’s official Web site.

Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

There are a million different reasons not to use public Wi-Fi when you plan on accessing your online accounts. Even encrypted pages should be approached with extreme caution when you don’t own the router or connection being used to access it. You never know who’s looking over your shoulder, using packet sniffers, or some other means of liberating your password from you without your knowledge. If you really want to be security conscious, keep your online activity on encrypted networks that the public can’t freely monitor.

With these steps in mind, you can avoid some of the most common methods thieves use for password theft, and keep your data safely hidden away from prying eyes. Nothing is more aggravating and time consuming than having to undo the damage left by a malicious identity thief.

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