Online fraud, stolen identities and password hacks are increasing. Robots and humans trying to steal your identity is big business, did you know your ASOS or Next Retail login is worth over £4 to a hacker, and your iTunes password is worth a lot more! It’s no longer about just credit card details either, anything that enables someone to build a database of your identity is worth money to someone. And where money is available, you can guarantee someone is looking to find it.
That said, if you take just one simple step today, you’re likely to reduce the risk of yourself being hacked by a huge percentage! Since such a large proportion of people have weak passwords, or use the same password for virtually everything, these people are easy targets, and thus the first a hacker will look to pursue. Is this you? It shouldn’t be!
Do you have a weak password?
Your mothers maiden name is no longer the only weak password, although this is EXTREMELY BAD! Since most hackers use computerised algorithms to systematically guess passwords; the name, phrase, numbers that you use for your passwords are to a large degree, irrelevant. What will protect you the most is having a long (20+ character), mixed password of upper case letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers. What’s more, they MUST be different for EVERY login. That way if one of the services/websites you have an account with get’s hacked, they won’t get access to everything.
But how the devil do you remember them all? Well that’s today’s tool. You need a password vault, or a password manager. The one we both use and would recommend to you is called LastPass. It’s an online storage for all your passwords, which it remembers and updates automatically when you login to sites from an authorised computer or device. And what’s more – for most of the features – it’s 100% free!
LastPass does many ingenious things;
- Create long form random passwords in one click
- Save those passwords in a secure vault
- Inform you if your email/name has been found in a known data breach
- Suggest password changes to old passwords which are considered ‘weak’
- Notify you if you use the same password for more than one site
- Allow you to access your passwords anywhere in the world, from any device (providing you remember your master password)
- Allow you to enable two-factor authentication every time you login – BRILLIANT! (it sends you an automated message to your phone, you click one button, and your in.)
- Provide a one click print out of all your passwords which you can store in your home safe (or similar).
- Store ID documents, credit card info and anything else (insurance for example)
- Auto fill passwords, so you never need type your passwords again (on any device)
- And much more…
All the above features are what we use most frequently, and for all this, is completely free! LastPass does have a premium service which you can pay a few pounds a month for.
LastPass is a data encryption platform, it’s business is protecting your data.
We think it’s brilliant, and we think you will too!
Three other simple steps to protecting your data, and your business online:
- Enable two-factor authentication on any platform/website/service that will allow you (in addition to using LastPass passwords).
- Frequently check your email address(s) on this site which provides known leaked data.
- Check your bank and credit card statements once a month for any unknown transactions, however small.