Most recently we saw the professional social networking website ‘LinkedIn’ confirm that as many as six million of its users’ passwords had been stolen/leaked. The passwords, stored in an encrypted form, were reportedly accessed by hackers and have now been posted on the internet, with hackers inviting others to assist with their decryption.
LinkedIn users are being advised to change their passwords immediately anyway. It’s a very simple process of logging in, clicking onto your profile information and choosing reset password. The site has assured users that the compromised passwords will no longer be valid, but it is important that you reset your login details now.
It is not uncommon for many web users to still use low-end security passwords, like ‘password1’ ‘P@ssword’ or ‘qwerty’. These users must still be educated on the risks associated with easy access passwords and most times it’s down to a simple lack of understanding. Others who have gone down the extensive route of creating secure passwords like ‘T1t4n803’ or ‘5ytp3!’ have also started to fall down by using that same password across a number of different services. You may, for example, be using the same password for your LinkedIn account as for your email, utilities or even your online banking. If this is the case for you as a LinkedIn user then it’s vital that you update all of the services on which you use that password.
Ideally you should keep a different password for each online service, in order to minimise the overall risk in the event that one is compromised but often we struggle to do this. Having a secure 8 character password with symbols, uppercase characters, lowercase characters and numbers for 25+ websites would be a nightmare waiting to happen. So what can we do?
Well here’s a suggestion from me, I was one of those people who had a 16 character password with all the symbols, numbers and letter combinations but foolishly I used this on multiple websites for a lack of being able to recall any additional passwords of this complexity. So when LinkedIn got hacked, it was a wake-up call to start protecting my data that little bit more!
I spent some serious time researching for the best application or idea for password management and I personally think that ‘Keeper’ is a clear winner;
Keeper is a safe and secure way to store all of your secret passwords, website logins, notes and other top secret personal information on your MAC, laptop, desktop or mobile device. Its military-grade encryption (128-bit AES) allows data to be safely and securely stored on the hard drive of your computer without fear of compromise and the simple to use interface allows you to quickly access your stored information and search for specific records. For $9.99 a year; you can also Sync your records to your mobile device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, BlackBerry) with one click and an Optional “Self Destruct” feature protects you further by permanently erasing all data if the wrong password is entered 5 times. When signing up for a new online service, enter the Keeper application; type in the address and it randomly generates a highly secured password for you to use. Then, it synchronises that information to any device you want to use it on.
If you would like to download or use the application, further information can be found here: http://keepersecurity.com
Posted by Kris Haynes on 06/14 at 11:37 AM
Next entry: Make sure you’re safe online…
Previous entry: ...and that’s the way the cookie crumbles