After news broke earlier this week about the supposed leak of 5 million Google usernames and passwords, it’s safe to say that online security is on peoples’ minds.
But RT network reported on Wednesday that the Russian Bitcoin forum user who posted the information “claimed that 60 percent of the passwords were valid”.
Google said in their post that they “protected the affected accounts and … required those users to reset their passwords”.
So how can you protect your online security?
- Long passwords are strong passwords
The longer your password is, the harder it is to crack. Always create a password that contains the maximum number of characters possible.
Also make sure that you use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols as the web site allows, as this will make your password even stronger.
- Unique passwords
Make sure that you use unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Using the same password and email combination for several online accounts is not a good idea; if someone were to publish your email and password in a credentials dump, people would be able to access all of your accounts that use this email-password combination.
- Password and account recovery
Always provide as many password and account recovery options as each web site allows; most will ask for a phone number and an alternate email address, so you can receive verification codes. If you don’t have another email address, you should create another account for this purpose.
Always provide verification questions where allowed. Although it can be annoying answering them each time you log in, verification questions add another layer of protection to your account, so make sure you remember the answers.
I hope this makes you take your online account protection more seriously. After all, you wouldn’t give your password to a stranger, so why make it just as easy for them to find?
Until next time
Information and image sourced from:
Google. 2014. “Cleaning up after password dumps.” Accessed September 13, 2014. http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/cleaning-up-after-password-dumps.html.
Google. 2014. “Online Security Blog.” Accessed September 13, 2014. http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com.au/.
Google. “Secure your passwords.” Accessed September 13, 2014. https://www.google.com.au/goodtoknow/online-safety/passwords/.
RT. 2014. “5 million ‘compromised’ Google accounts leaked.” Accessed September 13, 2014. http://rt.com/news/186580-millions-google-accounts-leaked/.