News broke today about how easy it is to steal users’ passwords from Pandora, the music streaming site, causing more concerns about how sites store their users’ passwords. Along with the recent hacks into Yahoo, Dropbox and LinkedIn, password protection is becoming more crucial, especially since more and more everyday services are moving to the cloud and requiring passwords. So how do you protect your online passwords? We offer some advice:
1. Don’t use the same password for every site: If you use the same password for all of your online needs, a hacker only needs to steal it from one site and all of sudden they have access to all of your online profiles, from Amazon to Pandora. Don’t think you can remember all of your passwords? Try to find passwords for each site that relate to the service it provides. For example, pick a password for Pandora that relates to music. It’ll be easier to remember.
2. Change your password every six months: Yes, this seems like a giant pain, but it can definitely help keep your online accounts from being hacked. For sites that have less or your private information on them (Pinterest, Spotify, etc.), you can probably change your passwords less often, but anything that has any banking or personal information like your Social Security number should be changed every six months.
3. Find and download Internet security software that includes password protection: This is probably the safest way to protect your online passwords, especially since the software does most of the work. Many of the top security software suites, such as Norton, BitDefender, Kaspersky and Webroot, offering personal information management tools that help protect against identity theft. The tools range from saving and encrypting your passwords to a secure web browser that operates outside of your desktop, making it harder to track.
If you want to take a look at all of our reviews of the top security software suites and compare their personal information manager tools, check out our compare page here.