Written by Trevor Murphy
Cyber Security Awareness Month
PopQuiz Computers is dedicated to utilizing cyber security month in an effort to teach awareness to everyone. Not only will these series of posts be informative of today’s threats, but we will also introduce you to the technologies that can be used to protect you from these threats. Most of these tools will be free for anyone to download and start using right away. Let us all do our part and keep our friends, families, and co-workers secured from cyber threats.
Passwords and Security
Today’s digital landscape has us all logging into many different websites and web apps for many different activities such as sharing cat pictures, ordering food, and paying bills. End users are bombarded with requests to create passwords for each of these activities. Most people (even many IT professionals) end up using the same password for many accounts. Using the same password may have some positives such as being easier to remember and less likely needed to be written down but doing so could also compromise all of your accounts if a cyber criminal gets a hold of just one password. This is like having multiple locks and doors for your house, but the same key is used to open each. We recommend having unique passwords for each unique account.
One thing that can be done right now is to see if any of your current passwords may be included in recent breaches. These breaches are when hackers steal a treasure trove of usernames and passwords from a single website. Afterwards they may also put these passwords on the dark web for other hackers to use and break into your other accounts. Visit: https://www.popquizcomputers.com/email-account-compromised now to see if you have been compromised.
Password complexity is another key topic that needs to be addressed. Most of us 80s-90s kids have probably crafted up some very creative passwords to keep our AOL accounts secure back in the day. These passwords may include ones such as “password”, “password1”, “qwerty”, or “abc123.” In reality, these passwords can be compared to just leaving your front door closed but not locked. Also, do not fall into the trap of making your passwords very complex and very hard to remember — you will forget these passwords and may become further frustrated. See this comic strip below for what we suggest on how to create better passwords:
Source: Password Comic Strip from XKCD.com
As stated earlier, today we have online accounts for almost everything. You can make effective and easy to remember passwords but it still may be a headache to remember them all. Luckily when there is a problem, cyber security professionals come up with solutions. Many home and business users take advantage of a password manager. Password managers protect your account with a secret key and one master password and then the manager stores all of your passwords and login names for on-demand use. The best thing about it — many of the solutions are free! Check out some of our favorite recommendations such as 1Password or LastPass. See how to get started here:
If you need further help or have any questions with managing your passwords and would like to reach out to us directly, we can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a business and are looking for password management for all of your users, please reach out to us and we can share with you some of the business-grade solutions that we can offer.
Upgrade your internet experience and security — get a password manager today!
Obtain a password manager: