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How to secure your passwords

Passwords are gold dust for hackers. With them, if you haven’t followed best practices, they can use them to access all sorts of information, so you really want to keep them safe. To help you do just that, we’ve created this guide that details some quick and easy ways to keep your passwords secure.

Your online passwords are a thin line that separates all your information from everyone else. Whether it’s financial or social information, a lot about you and your personality can be revealed when someone has access to your online accounts, which is why it’s so important that you keep this information safe.

And it’s probably not an understatement to say that most people don’t put much effort into keeping their passwords secure.

In accordance with DataProt, in 2021, 51% of people use the same passwords for both their personal and work accounts, with the password “123456” still in use on more than 23 million accounts worldwide.

So it’s safe to say that we need to better protect our passwords. Even though they are not reliable, talented hackers can get into your account just like a burglar can get into your house.

But you can definitely make it harder for people to get in by adding extra layers of online security that work just like deadbolts and security cameras.

Here’s everything we recommend you do to improve your online security so you can hide your passwords from prying eyes.

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Use a password manager

Almost every password you use for your online accounts should be unique, but it can be difficult to come up with and remember multiple passwords for different sites.

This encourages bad habits and leads to people using the same or very similar passwords across platforms, making you more vulnerable.

The easiest way to keep track of all your passwords, ensuring they’re all different, is to use password management software. It will store all your passwords, online or local, in an encrypted vault protected by a master password.

You can check out our selection of the best password managers with both free and paid options. We have also listed a few options just below so you can choose the software that suits you best.

Conduct a security audit

Depending on which browser you are using, you will be able to check your passwords and their security.

Using Chrome as an example, you can store all your passwords in one place, although this system is not as hermetic as using a password manager. However, it will let you know if you have compromised passwords and recommend you change passwords that appear more than once.

If you want to check your passwords, click on the three dots in the top right corner and click “Settings”. From there, you can click “Autofill” to see what passwords you have for each site.

If you have insecure passwords, the notice above will appear here, as well as a list of your information for each site.

Screenshot 3 Google Security

Browsers such as Edge, Vivaldi, and Firefox have similar features that can be used to monitor and change passwords. It is important that you take action if your browser tells you that your passwords need to be changed, especially if you use the same passwords across platforms.

Use antivirus software

Protecting devices from viruses or attacks is the first step to protecting everything on your device.

Antivirus software is very important as it is the first line of defense when it comes to real-time threats that are often delivered over the Internet via “machine downloads”.

You can check out the antivirus software we liked on our best antivirus list. There are plenty to choose from, there are paid and free services. We have listed a couple below so you can get an idea of ​​what the software entails and how it will benefit your devices.

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Phishing detection

It can be intimidating to know that some people want your information, but there are things you can do to avoid falling for these schemes.

Phishing attacks come in many forms, but most often people try to get information about your password by sending you a fake email or message saying you need to reset your password or provide personal information to recover your account.

First, you should always check that these messages come from a legitimate source. This can be as simple as checking the sender’s email, any unusual words or characters are likely to indicate that this is not a real company.

If you receive a link sent to you in a message, especially from someone you don’t know, it’s always best not to click on it directly, but instead type the address into the URL. So if you get a message about your Facebook account with a link that says it will reset your password, go to Facebook in a separate window and try logging in there.

You can also do a little research; Check with the company if they have sent you anything about password resets, or if they have any specific protocols in place when it comes to communicating with customers.

Mobile provider O2, for example, will always send you a separate message telling you not to share your personal information with anyone who calls or inquires as they don’t work for the company. So if you’re trying to get a new code for your account – be it a password reset or something else – you’ll always know if the message was actually sent by O2.

warning message o2

Many of these attacks are fairly easy to spot, but if you’re not sure, you should always try to contact the company or ask a trusted friend or family member for advice.

Update your software

Last but not least, you should always keep your devices up to date, be it a phone, tablet, smart watch or laptop. The latest updates almost always include security patches that keep your devices safe.

In other words, if you broke the lock on your front door, you wouldn’t wait for it to be fixed. Likewise, you don’t want to leave the door open for malicious websites or malware to infiltrate before your devices are up-to-date with the latest protections.

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