There’s that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.
You’ve got an email that your password was compromised.
Password hackers are the worst — but there are things you can do to protect yourself from these attacks. Knowing someone violated your privacy can leave you feeling vulnerable and frustrated but we can help.
Continue reading this article to learn how to prevent hackers from getting into your private information.
Know What Sites May Be Compromised
If you use the same password for everything and one of these sites is hacked, that hacker can now access all of your sites. While they would have to check to see if you have an account on these sites, it isn’t very hard for a skillful hacker.
When sites are compromised, they usually send out an email to let their users know. The sites that are hacked also often change user’s passwords and force them to create new passwords.
As soon as you know your account has been compromised, change your password on all other sites you use that same password for. The best practice for keeping hackers at bay is to have different passwords for all accounts, but most people don’t do that.
You can get more information on compromised sites through various watchdog sites and even the mainstream news.
Create Strong Passwords
Creating strong passwords is your first line of defense. If you have weak passwords like “password123” or “Ilovemydog999” — look out. You’re a hacker’s paradise.
It’s understandable that you don’t want to create a new password for each website. You log in to a lot of different places and that is more work. Instead of thinking about the work it is going to take to make the password — think about the work it would take to clean up a mess after a hacker gets your information.
Creating strong passwords requires long and complex passwords. Your passwords need to be at least eight characters. You should make your password letters, numbers, and special characters.
Some websites don’t allow certain special characters, so make sure they’re valid if you keep getting an error. Most of the time, you’re able to use $%& signs but you may not use periods because it will confuse their system.
If you don’t want to come up with the password on your own, you can find an online password generator. Tick off all your criteria on the password generator, and it will spit out a secure password for you. Do this with each of your websites for the best security.
Use a Password Manager
If your head is spinning from all the passwords, you must create, consider using a password manager to help you keep things straight.
When you use a password manager, you don’t have to remember each of your passwords for all the sites. Your only responsibility is to remember the master password. These password managers allow you to log in to your sites with a single click, and then you’re good to go.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Hacker haters jump for joy. Two-factor authentication is your second line of defense against nasty hacking plots.
After you log in to your account with your username and password, you’ll be required to verify you’re the one trying to access your account by a second method. If you’re using Google, for instance, you can choose to enter a code from text or you can open your Gmail on your phone and confirm you’re the one logging in.
Obviously, unless someone has your phone, they won’t be able to verify that they’re the right person trying to log in.
Avoid Phishing Schemes
Another way many people lose privacy to their passwords is through phishing schemes. A phishing scheme is when someone pretends to be someone they aren’t to gain private information from you.
You might receive an email or some other electronic communication that looks like it is from your bank, social media network, email provider or other trusted party.
When you click on a link in the site, you’ll be redirected to a spoofed site identical to the legitimate site that you think you’re visiting. It will pop up like a login screen and take your password when you enter it.
If you think you’re safe because you see the https with the little lock — not always. Hackers are getting so good that they can even spoof this part of the site.
How do you know you’re on a legit site? If you click the little lock icon, you’ll be able to see who the security certificate is licensed to. If it is anything other than the site you’re trying to visit, then you might be on a phishing site.
Create a 2nd Email Account
If you’re using the same email address you use for your online shopping for your online banking, it is easier for hackers to get your information. Set up an additional email account that is only meant for your online banking and you’ll be making it hard for hackers to get your banking information in case of a security breach at a retail site.
Password Hackers Be Gone
Now that you know more about how to protect yourself against password hackers, why stop learning there? We have many articles on closely related topics that can help you protect yourself in other ways and make your life better overall.
Browse our site, find your favorite section, drop a bookmark, and come back soon for more great reads.