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So far, there were no reliable enough biometric identification systems created. Reliable to exclude errors and the possibility of falsification, and, at the same time, cheap enough for a mass implementation. Legislative systems are loyal to its citizens, with no mandatory implantations of chips to each member of society. Thus, a password is still the main measure of protecting personal data in the modern digital world, and it is the forefront of defense.
Information security experts recommend applying these rules when handling passwords:
do not use simple sequences of characters, words, data that is accessible to outsiders;
do not use the same passwords for different services;
do not use the automatic password substitution functions in browsers and other apps - don’t keep passwords on devices;
do not use password recovery systems — security questions, or binding other accounts or phone numbers and any other forms;
use 2FA systems, it is better if the second factor is not SMS, but a push message in the app;
never transfer passwords to anyone, use them only where required — in authentication forms;
in case of any suspicion that the password has been compromised, immediately change it;
take additional security measures when entering passwords while using a public network.
Easy to recommend, hard to do
Following all these recommendations entails a lot of inconvenience. No wonder the browser developers implemented these functions — it’s an easy and quick way of handling passwords. Do these skilled specialists really offer users dangerous technology? Yes, and most people use auto-passwords in the end — everyone can't be wrong. But this is the case when common sense is not worth listening to.
Let’s say. the developers have no choice. A modern browser is a complex tool, a set of technologies, a super app. The creators of browsers solve many problems, among which the function of saving passwords is just one of many. The successful existence of a browser directly depends on market share, on the number of people using it. By depriving a huge number of their users of the function that they are used to, they can quickly lose the audience without even having time to explain the reason behind such an innovation.
Complex and diverse passwords — is it possible to remember them at all? Memorizing two character sets would not be so difficult. But there are dozens of them, this is unrealistic. Fortunately, there are special applications for assistance.
Password management software
Most of these programs:
are protected by a master password themselves;
can recognize situations when the user needs to authenticate and substitute the desired password in the form;
can create and save complex character sets during registration;
have extensions for different browsers, with full integration;
are able to download the password database as a separate file, as a backup.
There are disadvantages though: these apps differ in ease of use, have limited functionality in free versions, sometimes they don’t recognize input forms, etc.
There is an alternative to password managers. Users can create one text file, add logins and passwords for each service there, and pack it into the archive with a password. Naturally, this technique is somewhat more complicated than auto-substitution in browsers, but the user can fully control the state of his "password" lot. It will also be useful to create a copy of this archive and upload it to the cloud storage, for example, in Google Disk or Dropbox. In this case, when changing passwords on services, one must remember to update the saved records in the archives: on device and in the cloud.
Free network sometimes is free of security
Free Wi-Fi networks in public places are convenient but dangerous. For attackers or other people interested in accessing other people's secrets, these devices are a tidbit. By integrating into the data transfer chain between user devices, access points and an external network, hackers can view any information. There are many options for malicious access to devices: from the banal bribing of an administrator to hacking poorly protected routers and network hubs.
The presence of an attacker on the network will not be noticeable to anyone; there will be no warning labels about an unsafe connection. The passwords that will be entered on the devices of network users will be copied for further use by hackers.
The easiest way out in this situation is not to enter passwords and not transfer any important information in public Wi-Fi networks. A slightly more complicated way is to use VPN services. The most important feature and one of the main purposes is to create a secure connection with services that use important data.
When choosing a VPN application for a computer or mobile device, users need to remember that there are also unsafe services. To avoid problems when choosing, one needs to check reviews about a particular company or software. Suspicious ones will be surely marked by criticism, complaints and indignation of those who discovered violations. The complete absence of any negative reviews should also alert: perhaps the service has appeared recently and no one just had time to check and assess it — in this case, it is better to choose others.
BNT also plans to describe the general rules of behavior on social media in order to keep it safe and secure. It will be discussed in the next article.
Image courtesy of Malcure
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