The internet is as useful and intuitive, as it is dangerous. As more and more users come online for the first time each year, it is imperative that awareness is created around important practices that keep users safe.
With more people using services like Instagram, Gmail. Facebook or WhatsApp, hacking of accounts and online identity theft continue to be common cyber-crimes. However, most of these issues can be avoided by following some simple tips. On the occasion of Safer Internet Day today, here are the best practices to keep your accounts safe.
Keep strong passwords
Many people resort to keeping passwords as simple as ‘1234’ or ‘4444’, which beats the whole point of keeping a password. Commonly used words or numbers, especially numbers in order, are the easiest passwords to crack for attackers. Those that connect to personal information like your birthday or dog’s name are also easy to guess and misuse.
An ideal password should be a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and wherever applicable, symbols too. These passwords, which are not simple, are the hardest to crack and hence, are known as ‘strong passwords.’ Most social media platforms let you know if your password is strong or weak in real-time when you add a new one. Make sure yours hard to decipher.
Do not repeat passwords across platforms
Another common practice is to make one strong password and then use this across different accounts. This may make it easier to remember the password, but it also makes things much easier for attackers, who now need to guess only one password to hack all your accounts.
Further, not all platforms and websites themselves offer the same level of security. If you use your Gmail password as a password for another, less secure website and the attacker happens to hack you from there, the attacker will now have easy access to your Gmail password as well.
Change passwords regularly
The final rule in the password trilogy states that users keep changing their passwords regularly. A good rule of thumb to follow is to assume that all…