The Importance of having Secure Accounts
Thanks to modern technology, we use computing devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smart watches anywhere and anytime. Mostly, these devices connect with other computing devices through the Internet to share information and utilize useful features like a mobile banking and an online shopping. All of these devices are potentially vulnerable to misuse by hackers, so it is necessary for the users to have strong passwords.
Recently, users started recognizing the importance of having secured accounts due to the high rise in hacking attacks. Even though people are getting more secure accounts, there are still a number of people who are using a bad password and the same password for many accounts.
Here are some surprising statistics regarding passwords and cyber-attack.
- According to Google Online Security Survey, 52 percent of users reuse the same password for multiple accounts.
- Another Survey by LastPass, password management company, shows that 91% of the respondents profess to understand the risks of using the same passwords across multiple accounts, but 59% of them did so anyway.
- In 2019, 42% of companies were breached by a bad password.
- Compromised passwords are responsible for 81% of hacking-related breaches.
- 49% of employees only add a digit or change a character in their password when required to update it.
Here are TOP 11 most common passwords of the year 2020.
How can you create and manage strong passwords?
You do know how important it is to have strong passwords. Now, it is time to learn how to create and manage strong passwords. Creating strong passwords is simple, but sometimes users forget their passwords since they are too long or complicated to memorize.
Here are some tips for strong passwords
- Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts
- Create a password longer than 8 characters, mixed with lowercase, uppercase, digit, and special characters.
- Utilize a password generator for your convenience.
- Verify the password through online password strength tool.
To manage your passwords, we strongly recommend you using a password management app like 1Password, LastPass, and Bitwarden. Although you can write the passwords down on a paper or store them on the Sticky Notes, they are not an ideal option you would want to choose since you might lose the paper or your computer might get compromised at some point.
Here is 4 Benefits of using password manager.
- No need to memorize all the passwords.
- Can have stronger passwords.
- Store more information, such as credit card information, license keys, and secure notes.
- Can securely share passwords with others within a company
One more step to protect your accounts: 2FA and MFA
The days of trusting passwords alone, a single-factor authentication, are nearly over. Today, users are responsible for their identity and data access by having more secure options: multi-factor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication (2FA).
What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and how does it work?
Two Factor Authentication, or 2FA, is an extra layer of protection used to ensure the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password. Listed examples below are the most common way for two-factor authentication.
1. Text Message
Text messages for two-factor authentication send a verification code to your smart phone number that you registered with the account. This is the most streamlined form of 2FA. All you need is a cellphone connected to a mobile network. Text message 2FA is very common for personal accounts, but it is not ideal for work accounts. There is still a chance someone can gain unauthorized access to your accounts by impersonating you.
2. Authentication Applications
Authentication app 2FA works by using a mobile app to generate an authentication code. You must then enter the code to access to your account. Unlike text messages, your mobile devices do not need to be connected to the mobile network. Any type of internet connection is enough to access your account. More than that, authentication apps like Google Authenticator provide you emergency recovery code if you lost your phone or accidently deleted the app.
3. Biometric Two-factor Authentication
Biometric 2FA works by asking you to present something unique to your physical person to gain access to your account. Common methods of biometric verification include a face recognition and retina scans by your computer’s or mobile devices’ camera, or matching your fingerprint on your tablet. Today, these authentication methods are popular, but there is a downside. Unlike a changeable password, having your biometric authentication data stolen would comprise your security and privacy for life.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and how does it work?
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction. Multifactor authentication combines two or more independent credentials: what the user knows (password), what the user has (security token) and what the user is (biometric verification).
Two-Factor Authentication vs Multi-Factor Authentication
The difference between MFA and 2FA is simple. Two-factor authentication (2FA) always utilizes two of these factors to verify the user’s identity. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) could involve two of the factors or it could involve all three. “Multi-factor” just means any number of factors greater than one.
Recommended software vendors for 2FA or MFA
Here are some recommended software vendors you can use for 2FA or MFA.
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