In early 2019, Microsoft scanned user accounts for leaked credentials using a database that contained three billion leaked credentials. The result? Microsoft found 44 million users that were currently using leaked usernames and passwords.
These users were in danger, yet they didn’t know! Unfortunately, that’s the case for many internet users, and with so many of them using weak passwords, it’s only a matter of time before they suffer from a hack or breach of some kind.
How can you secure your accounts? Let’s take a look at a few steps that will improve your online security tenfold.
Steps to Securing Your Logins
Safely Storing Passwords
Are you the type of person to write your passwords down or type them out in a Word document so you don’t forget them? If you are, stop it immediately.
On the surface, writing your passwords doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. But there’s always the chance you lose that sheet of paper, or someone steals the device with your password document. It goes without saying that these scenarios would put all of your accounts in danger.
Storing your passwords can be done safely, however! All you need to do is install a password manager. Password managers can store your passwords in one place and encrypt the stored passwords to keep them safe.
Adding Extra Layers of Security
Counting on one password to keep your accounts secure just won’t cut it anymore. These days, you would do well to enable two-factor authentication (2FA)—also known as multi-factor authentication—on all of your accounts.
2FA adds an extra security step to the login process; if the person attempting to log in to the account uses the correct password, they will be prompted to enter a one-time passcode. The account holder can only access this passcode via email, phone, or authenticator app.
2FA significantly reduces the chances of cybercriminals breaking into your accounts. So, if you haven’t already, enable 2FA on as many accounts as you can immediately.
Steps To Securing Your Online Accounts
Installing a VPN
Encryption: it’s a concept that has boomed in popularity throughout the decade, and for a good reason. Encryption makes data nigh-unreadable, impossible for cybercriminals—or any third party, for that matter—to steal. Fortunately, it’s easy for users to encrypt their data, and users can start by using a VPN to secure connections to their networks.
Encryption plays a crucial role in securing data, so it is vital to your online safety that you take advantage of it whenever possible.
Updating Your Devices
When developers ship new software, they are already working on patches. But why ship software that’s not completed? See, it’s not about completion—it’s about security. Cybercriminals are always creating new types of malware, planning new tactics, and preparing to strike at any moment. As a result, software developers are constantly developing new patches that contain essential security fixes for their software.
Updating your software can get annoying, especially when it’s Windows that requires an update, and it interrupts you during work hours asking for you to start the update. But these updates are important for your security and privacy, so always update your software as soon as a new update becomes available.
Learning to Identify Online Threats
Thousands of cyber criminals spend their days sending out phishing emails and scouring for users to trick into giving away their personal information. The majority of these scams are fake, but some could pass as legitimate, and it is these legitimate scams you need to learn to identify. Doing so will ensure that your data stays safe and secure and will prevent you from falling for any scam a cybercriminal could throw your way.
Millions of people suffer from weak and/or compromised accounts and don’t even know it! If you think you might be one of those people, then be sure to follow the steps above so you can browse the internet as securely as possible.