1.2 billion passwords reportedly stolen by Russian hackers. After a widespread, nonspecific data breach, the conventional wisdom is that people should change all their passwords. But according to F-Secure Labs, there’s a better way. With the right password management habits, you won’t need to change all your passwords every time you hear about an online attack.
“The dirty little secret of security experts is that when there’s a data breach and they recommend to ‘change all your passwords,’ even they don’t follow their own advice, because they don’t need to,” says Sullivan. “Unless I find out about a breach with a specific account, I don’t worry about my passwords. That’s because I use a tool to remember my passwords for me, and a few simple techniques that help to manage my accounts so as to minimize the risk.”
When possible, use a different username than your email. Some services let you pick a unique username other than your email. When possible, it’s good to take this option as it’s that much more info a hacker needs to know. And use two-factor authentication when available.
Use a unique password for each online account. Using the same password to access different accounts is rolling out a red carpet for hackers. If a password for your Facebook account is stolen, criminals can hop over to your email and other accounts and try the same password there. Don’t give online accounts any more data than is absolutely necessary.
If you are notified about a breach to a specific account, change that password. This goes without saying.Changing your account password habits may take a little effort, but in the long run it’s easier and less stressful than having to change all passwords after news of every breach. And it’s worth it to keep your personal data and online identity safe. Sullivan suggests starting small, taking care of one account at a time and building up until all your passwords are handled.
It’s easy with the right tools: Then how does one remember so many unique passwords and log-ins, and manage them effectively? F-Secure’s password manager, F-Secure KEY, makes sure proper password management is as easy and painless as possible. With F-Secure KEY, there’s just one master password to remember, so it’s easy to have a unique password for each account. Usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and other important data are stored in one secure app. F-Secure KEY now has a completely updated and refreshed mobile version. The new mobile user interface features a Favorites ring that makes it easy and fast to access all one’s most commonly used account credentials.