Hi! It’s Declan from TrustHound, back with some tips and tricks for staying safe online.
I know these tricks because I spent two decades being the hacker or being the helper. As the hacker I was the good guy being paid to hack into banks, large companies and government systems. I did this (with permission!) so that the problems could be found and fixed before a real bad guy came along and caused trouble. Then, instead of remaining the hacker, I became the helper - working with thousands of people who had cyber security issues to help them understand what happened and get them back on their feet.
This blog is about passwords: learn how internet pirates steal and get access to passwords and what you can do to fight them off.
Use unique passwords...
Many people who have had their accounts compromised wonder how attackers are able to guess their password to get in. The truth is, they didn’t need to guess.
The two main ways that attackers get hold of passwords are by stealing them from websites, or by tricking people with phishing emails.
A lot of people have a small number of passwords that they use on many sites and systems. The problem with this is that even if you never share your password, they can be stolen. It is common for websites to be hacked, and to have the details of their users stolen. If this stolen information contains your password, then it’s likely that an attacker will use these credentials to login to different systems as you.
...and store them in a password manager
If you have a unique password for every system that you use, then the attackers will not be able to gain access to anything.
This, however, creates a significant issue: there is no way that any human can remember all the different passwords that they will need! It’s ok though, because there is a solution to this problem - a password manager.
Think of a password manager as a key safe. You only need to remember the password to your manager and it does the rest.
CERT NZ has great information on password managers: have a read and pick one today!