A stolen password is the new version of having your pocket picked - it can totally ruin your day and the knock on effect can take months to unscramble.

As you travel around the internet you need to be ever vigilant about keeping passwords secure.

The commonly advised thing to do is have a different, complex password for each new login but who can remember all those passwords? Also current advice is that different and rotating passwords doesn’t work as people simply reuse the same password or variations anyway.

In 2018, Verizon reported in its annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) that 81% of hacking-related data breaches involved either stolen or weak passwords.

Now what?
The most up to date advice is to use a low tech solution, Passphrases and not word and number combinations. Passwords can be easy to crack for people and bots especially with the availability of personal information on social media - dog name plus birthdate doesn’t cut it anymore.

Are passphrases better than passwords? Passphrases can be easier to remember than letter/number combinations especially if they are a favourite song or quote.

Adding punctuation makes the phrase even more complicated and meets most complexity requirements.

Most modern operating systems (Windows, Linux and Mac) support passphrases.

Best of all they are almost impossible to crack, even the most cutting-edge cracking tools will not be able to guess or brute force these tricky beasts.

Loving this site - https://www.useapassphrase.com/. Check out the approximate time to crack - 17 million centuries - seems pretty secure to me.


The Technical Solutions

We all love the convenience of the autofill feature in browsers but a recent report from Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy indicates that this feature is being exploited by online advertising and tracking firms. Researchers found third-party scripts built to prey on the autofill feature have been harvesting email addresses for advertising and user tracking.

Password Management Software is now key. This is a vault that stores your passwords and is accessible using a single password. At Kindleman, we use 1Password, we have individual vaults and a shared company vault which keeps all our client’s username/password combinations safe and secure.

We have also implemented Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for key financial systems.

Two Factor Authentication is a method confirming a person's identity using 2 factors, something they know, something they have, or something they are for example a password and a one-time password (OTP) sent via email or SMA or code generated or received by an authenticator (e.g. Google Authenticator app on a smartphone) that only the user possesses.

The best option is to use all methods. Passphrases stored in a password manager and 2FA.