It’s been almost a week after reportedly 6.5 millionLinkedin passwords were stolen (or ‘compromised’ as per the site)- and that took the web world by the storm. Suddenly everyone is talking about internet security, password theft, password security and finally creating the most secured password.
Who to Blame?
Off course there are people blaming the site, the relaxed mentality of its users and the absence of a strong security guideline for such an important site where you furnish your personal details like address, contact details and CV. But if you take a deeper look at the true reason behind all these, you will find that it is not being able to create a good, strong, easy-to-remember but hard to hack password that is to be blamed.
while creating such perfect password might be as rare a thing as the Holy Grail ( the closest one so far got is BD052EA0256430 96595A217658B10374242DC59D B397D9088C24DAEAF9059 … OMFG!), we can at least try to make our passwords more secured. After all, it is our accounts (and our personal information) that are at risk!
Steps Taken by Linkedin
Having said that, I by no means want to convey that Linkedin is not doing anything to stop the next hacking disaster. They have already set up an investigation and as per their official blog2 they have taken the following steps.
- Members with accounts associated to the compromised passwords will find that their LinkedIn account password is no longer valid.
- They will also receive an email from LinkedIn with instructions on how to reset their passwords. But remember, there will not be any links in this email. Once the user follows this instruction and requests password assistance, then they will receive an email from LinkedIn containing a password reset link.
- They will also receive a second email from Linkedin’s Customer Support team providing a bit more details on this situation.
Linkedin is also working on some security measures called as ‘salting’ to protect the valuable information of its users.
Tips for a Hard-to-Hack Password
You too on the other hand can play your part and create a better password. Here’s some tips that you can follow in your quest for a more secured password. Some of these tips are time tested and widely known and yet, many of us do not pay hid to them( just give it a thought – ‘link’ is the number one hacked password in Linkedin according to Rapid7). But this time,you should pay more attention to them-
1. Wise Selection
Don’t make it a cakewalk for the hackers by picking passwords like ‘Link’ or ‘job’ or ‘god’ even ‘password1’ or your birthday. If you want to try your luck in hacking, won’t you try these combinations? And hackers are pros in this business. They use social networking websites to deduce clues for your password.
Obscure passwords can often prove to be the best choices. Make use of nonsensical and non-sequential letters and numbers in your password. Some sites allow you to use special characters- make the best use of them. Remember, if it is difficult for you to remember, it is surely hard to hack.
2. Discard Malicious Attachments
Attachments from an unknown sender may contain virus or spyware to track and send your private information to some third party. Even while browsing the web you can unknowingly download such malicious stuff! Use search engine like Google to receive alerts whenever you access any insecure website. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘free scan’ – it is more of a free scam than a scan.
3. Those Official-Looking Mails
Receiving odd mails password-protected sites requesting you to disclose your password? Stop and delete them right away! These are scam mails that may lead to your password being compromised.
There’s also an easy way to know whether the source of the mail is legit or not. Use your common sense “firstname.lastname@example.org” is not a mail from Gmail.
4. Use Firefox Sync
Download Firefox Sync and keep your browser password protected. With the help of this your bookmarks and passwords can sync with Firefox. If you are using a shared computer, please remember to log out.
5. An App for Everything
There are numerous iPhone and Android apps to secure your passwords. For Mac users ‘1Passowrd Pro’ is an effective app for password security. It can sync with all kinds of devices and can even enable AES hardware-accelerated encryption.
6. Change it regularly
You had this coming! You should keep changing all your password (yes, for every site that requires a login) frequently to prevent infringement of any sort. Try it, it is worth the hard work.
7. Maintain Secrecy
Shhh…You should not share your password with anyone, not even with your closet friend. Sharing the password can make way for the cyber intruders.
8. Fast Reaction to Breaching
Your account got hacked? Change the password of all accounts (yes, do this for your own safety). Don’t let the hacker to track you in any way. Had credit card details in your hacked account? Cancel your card right away. You don’t want a huge bill at the end of the month,right?
No kidding guys! You need to do away those kiddish habits of using lame easy to break-in passwords. They are like writing ‘beware of dogs’ at the door and leaving the key inserted in the lock.
Follow these simple steps to create a more secure hard-to-hack password for your online accounts. This will save you from cyber crimes like identity-theft. Wanna know my password? It’s ‘iamwhoiamandnoyourenotwelcomeinhere0’ and now you know it, I am gonna change it again!