With so much of our lives and information being shared online, it’s not too surprising that sites have trouble with passwords and accounts getting hacked. In the past month, both LinkedIn and eHarmony have had instances of passwords getting hacked.
Frankly, we’re all tired of it. So, what can we do?
The good news is that online security experts do feel that there are still preventative measures that can be taken. Here’s a few steps that can be taken to increase your online security:
Was my password stolen? What can I do?
If you’re concerned that your LinkedIn password was hacked, the online password management company LastPass recently released an online form to check. Additionally, if you have an eHarmony account and are concerned that your password was hacked, you can use the LastPass online check form as well.
Yes, your password is still very important
Many people feel less inclined to use a ‘strong’ password on sites such as LinkedIn because it is simply a website, not a personal online account such as a banking, credit card or other eCommerce site. In my opinion, it is best to ALWAYS use a complex password which includes letters, numbers, symbols and more. If you want to check the strength of your password, howsecureismypassword.net.
LinkedIn and other social media sites stores passwords through ‘hashing’ which means that these passwords are encoded through a complex algorithm. This is an additional level of protection because if the data does indeed get hacked, the hacker still needs to unravel this additional level before the passwords become useful.
Be wary of emails after a site has been hacked
After the LinkedIn password hacking incident, reports quickly surfaced of users receiving “phishing” attempts. The best advice is NOT to click on any links in an email asking you to verify or change user account information. Instead, go directly to the website you’re using and handle all account information there.
Don’t use the same password with all of your sites!
The worst thing that can happen if you use the same password everywhere is obvious: get hacked with one site, get hacked on all of your sites. This is a headache that nobody needs.
The best advice we can offer is to be as prepared as possible. Make sure you’re changing your website passwords AT LEAST every few months and TEST the strength of them. If you do subscribe to a site that gets hacked, go in as soon as possible and change the password.
Got any other ideas? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section