Your Password…not so safe

hacker 300x225 Your Password…not so safeHave you ever wondered how hackers can crack the code to your passwords?  We know by now that strong passwords must be created to keep out pesky hackers, but it’s tedious having to create a brand new password every time a new account is opened.  Worse yet, how do we possibly remember all of those passwords?

Many companies offer password managers that can help with this.  While some companies charge a fee for this service, others do not.  What is important is that you maintain your passwords in a safe location.  If you keep them on your computer in a password safe, make sure the company is reputable by checking them out at bbb.org.  Also, a decent password safe will encrypt your passwords, and only you should have the password to it.

Some ways that hackers can gain access to your passwords may be through a keystroke logger.  Basically, what a keystroke logger does is it “captures and logs what a user on a computer types on their keyboard”.  It must be installed onto a computer for this invisible, spying device to work. The strokes are then encrypted and can be forwarded to the person doing the spying or they may be accessed from the hard-drive plug-in used to record the information.

Other ways that your passwords may be stolen are through observers watching you, while you type, or who make educated guesses.  More sophisticated ways of password theft are through phishing emails and/or websites.  Many other ways exist too, according to indonetworksecurity.com.

The best defense against password hacking is to use a very clever password with made-up words, symbols, capital and lower-cased letters, etc.  Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Also, have updated anti-virus protection; steer clear of visiting unfamiliar websites and opening email attachments from unverified sources.

If you are uncertain as to who is sending you an email, call the company that is responsible for sending the email. You could be one of many receiving a phishing email. It’s better to be safe than sorry. For further questions, contact your BBB.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/77519207@N02/6818192898/”>elhombredenegro</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

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About Kristal Heffley

Ad Review and Social Media Specialist of BBB serving Northern Indiana. Kristal spends a great deal of time learning, writing about, and educating the public on scams of the day. She also is quite the social-media enthusiast and community partner. You can follow her posts, i.e. BBB serving Northern Indiana on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and of course, our blog.