There are many ways to steal your password. No matter who you are. Do you have a college degree? Are you a high-level executive? Do you feel pretty smart when it comes to computers? You’re in luck: you will definitely have your password stolen. That’s because hackers use your confidence against you. As long as you feel thoroughly aware of all risks, you are most at risk. Nobody is immune from hacking. Nobody.
Beware of phishing.
Phishing is just one of the ways to steal your password. As a result of our busy lives, we may not think twice about typing in our passwords to get into Facebook, our email, or bank accounts. If it looks like the real thing, why think twice? Unfortunately, hackers use that thinking to their advantage. They know our lives are rushed, chaotic. So, they use our mental shortcuts against us. They create websites that look like the websites we visit every day. If we don’t look at the URL, we can easily fall victim. So be aware of it: The University of Cal: Berkeley maintains an archive of Phishing examples you can safely browse. And, follow these anti-phishing tips:
- Never send your password in an e-mail message to anyone, ever.
- Didn’t expect to receive an e-mail? Don’t trust it!
- Check the URL of a link before you click on it. Hover over the link to reveal the URL.
- CHECK THE URL: Make sure the name of the company matches the name on the page. You are about to type your password into a google website. Did you check the URL to be sure it’s from google.com and not another site?
- Not sure? Call us. We are often aware of scams that are making the rounds in the community and can best advise you on what to do next. While we may not be able to completely solve the issue, we can document it and share the information with other libraries in Suffolk County.
An Ars Technica article once showed how a journalist with no experience easily hacked 16,000 passwords in a few hours. On the other hand, professional hackers went through complex databases of passwords and hacked with 90% success. Seemingly strong passwords were inadequate.
For these reasons, you should take the following steps to secure your passwords:
- Use two-factor authentication as much as possible. This website will show you a variety of sites that use two-factor authentication.
- Wired Magazine recommends password managers and has a list of free password managers like LastPass and Dashlane that can secure your passwords.
- Have a password manager create a strong password for every website you use.
- Have you checked Have I been pwned? Take appropriate steps to secure your accounts if you have, in fact, been pwned.
Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that you will be completely safe. Actually, practically nothing will. But, taking these steps will add a deterrent to keeping you safer.