Password 101: You are overlooking your own security

The Internet, one of the most fragile place in the whole world. You can achieve so much with it. But it’s really very easy to overlook the most common part of it. And that component is something known as password sometimes even referred to as passphrase. The password is a common component in the virtual world a.k.a the Internet. Almost every service you are subscribed to on the internet requires password in one form or the other. And that being said you are really very careless with password security. Before reading further ask yourself this: When was the last time you changed your password ? You might even surprise yourself with the answer to that question.

Whose responsibility is your password ?

We have passwords for everything from our smart devices to the services we use on the internet. And yet we are ever so careless about our passwords. It is because we put immense faith in the service providers for our security. This faith has made us more vulnerable to cyber threats.

The passwords are vulnerable, and you are the weakest link in the chain. It doesn’t matter how secure a service provider is. Their security cannot compensate for our carelessness. If a password is insecure, it is because of our carelessness. Because password is independent to the service you’re utilizing.

If you get yes as any one of the question’s answer I have a bad news for you. Also this list is only a tiny portion made for you to realize insecurity.

  • Is your password composed of names of your relatives ?
  • Does your password contain your personal contact information ?
  • Is your password only number or only word or combination of word and your personal info ?

Fun Fact: Passwords were invented by late Fernando Corbato

Take password security into your hands

You must be very careful about the security of your password. There are a number of things you can do to make sure your password remain only to yourself. You must be thinking that who would actually try to crack my password? This all might look like a desperate move. But the truth might surprise you. Those spam e-mails you get are merely just tip of the iceberg.

This post should at least motivate you to handle your passwords with care. You should never write the password in a piece of pacer and store it somewhere. The problem here isn’t the piece of paper but your habit of doing so. Because of your habitual actions later in time you might actually store the password in printed form. And it will surely cost you dearly. So, it’s better to take care of the habit early.

Here is a list of things you can do to make sure you are not compromised over the internet. It all might seem obvious but obvious is what’s ignored often.

Also Read: Learning about encrypting files & folders on Ubuntu


Single Password For Each Account

We all have this habit of sharing our password on multiple services on the internet. You like to use use the same password on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other things. Let me stop you right here, change your passwords and never repeat this thing ever again. You might ask what’s wrong with same password for everything on the internet ? I’ll answer this in brief.

If any of the service gets compromised and somehow the attacker dumps your password. Now your email address is public and so is your every other account. Think about your privacy. Does it sound good in any way ? I guess not.

Fun Fact: You can find a list of websites that have been breached here.

Password should annoy you

Password complexity is what I myself despise most. The secure passwords look boring. Just look at this mess 5b_f1cf89907/E9X this looks so boring. But this boring looking thing is actually secure. And it will take years to brute-force and cannot be dictionary attacked.

Create a password which annoys you in every possible way. Because it will provide security over anything else. However, you must not write down passwords. Use password manager such as KeePass and let it manage it for you.

Pro Tip: You can use URL from YouTube after watch?v= as password for example: dQw4w9WgXcQ.

Move out of comfort zone

Never ever go back to using these kind of password. <your_name><*_digits_of_contact> or <your_name><birth_info>. You should never ever fall into this habit of insecure password. What to do instead?

You can literally write a line from your favorite song. Make sure there are 6+ words. It will take a long time to brute-force your password like this. But a better option is to always use the random password generator from your favorite password manager.

Update credentials routienly

The above suggestions is to make your password as secure as possible. But updating passwords is something entirely different. You must update password on a routine basis. It is because in case the system might gets compromised.

But regardless of a system being compromised. The point of updating passwords routinely is to avoid such awful situations. I cannot refrain myself from saying this: “Treat your passwords like your undergarments”. Also, I can confirm that phrase is not mine.

Use two factor authentication whenever possible

Two factor authentication is a must in this modern world. How does 2FA help with your password ? 2FA is basically a password but much better. It is tied with your smartphone and adds a layer of security on top of your existing password.

All providers have some form of 2FA. There are variety of Authenticator applications available for different platforms. For example: Google Authenticator, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator. You should use them wherever possible. These applications help you stay secure because they generate expiring One Time Passwords (OTP). It will really help you in the long run.

Now the internet isn’t fair you have to secure yourself while you’re on it. Because anything that has once surfaced on the internet, never goes away. Hence, I have explained you about password security and how you might achieve it.

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