Online Password Protection Guidelines With LinkedIn and Last.fm Password Breach Information
Powerful Online Password Protection Guidelines
Because of all the recent security breaches of social networks like LinkedIn.com and Last.fm (complete Last.fm breach info below) we have decided to write a post detailing password security guidelines for online accounts.
There is always a risk of passwords being stolen and used if you use any type of account online. There is never a 100% guarantee any password is protected, but we can drastically help lower the risk of getting your password stolen by providing powerful online password protection guidelines.
9 Ways To Protect Online Passwords
1. Use letters, numbers, and punctuation marks together
Implementing letters, numbers, and punctuation marks together into a single password statistically lowers the risk of third parties obtaining your password.
Use punctuation marks combined with the shift key (ie: 4 is $ or shift and 4 = $).
Create a combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.
2. Use capitalization patterns
Capitalize a few letters in your password, not just the the first and last letters – create a pattern of capitalized letters.
3. Avoid using actual words and popular number progressions
Words and number progressions are easy to remember, that’s why so many people use them in their passwords, and that’s how so many passwords are stolen.
When we say avoid using actual words and number progressions in your password, we even mean to avoid using using names, and initials, especially your own family members names.
An example of a password using the first 3 guidelines would look like wa.3fds.FFeiAAdj3f or P73hatgwb!ai.!@. Crack that!
4. Frequently change passwords
Frequently change passwords, especially if you suspect any services you use may have become attacked. This way you can also avoid situations like the LinkedIn password leak.
LinkedIn would not have been aware (at least for a while) their systems were compromised if the suspects did not release the passwords in public forums.
I recommend to change passwords once a week or more. If that’s too much for you, good luck.
5. Don’t store passwords
If your browser or the website for which your password is stored becomes compromised you are at risk of having your password stolen or used remotely.
Another way to avoid storing passwords is to continually clear your internet browser’s cookie load. When your browser or a website stores your password it is done through storing cookies.
6. Create hints to remember your passwords
Since you do not want to store any passwords, you should also not leave your password or bits of it anywhere. Create great hints to remember forgotten passwords.
Remember, even hints can turn a third party discovery of your password a fun guessing game. Everyone loves games! So camouflage and protect your hint from any intrusion.
7. Use different passwords for all online accounts.
The biggest mistake most online identity victims make is using the same or similar passwords for multiple accounts. Using the same password for Facebook and your bank account can turn your bank account into a big sweet empty 0.
8. Don’t return to old passwords
Avoid using password combinations which you may have commonly used in the past. If any older services you may have used become compromised, this may put you at risk.
9. Avoid phishing schemes
Many passwords are stolen by keyloggers that are distrusted through some sort of phishing technique; be that email scam, or other malicious methods. Of course it’s common sense to avoid phishing schemes, but sometime’s we put it in the back of our heads and click things we know puts us at risk.
Never discuss your password protection techniques (well, maybe sometimes – but avoid leaking too much information).
Last.fm password breach email to Last.fm users
Fri, Jun 08, 2012
|We are currently investigating the leak of some Last.fm user passwords. This follows recent password leaks on other sites, as well as information posted online. As a precautionary measure, we’re asking all our users to change their passwords immediately.|
|Please log in to Last.fm and change your password on your settings page.|
|We will never email you a direct link to update your settings or ask for your password.|
|We strongly recommend that your new Last.fm password is different to the password you use on other services. For more advice on choosing a solid password we recommend: http://www.google.co.uk/goodtoknow/online-safety/passwords/|
|We’re sorry for the inconvenience around changing your password; Last.fm takes your privacy very seriously. We’ll be posting updates in our forums and via our Twitter account as we get to the bottom of this.A copy of this message is online at http://www.last.fm/passwordsecurity.|
|The Last.fm Team|