Tagged With password managers

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Facebook is kind of a mess right now. And there are plenty of equally messy reaction pieces cajoling you and everyone you know, to delete your account in a massive middle finger to the web's prevailing social network. That's the easy take and, honestly, we've experienced this mob response before. Did you #DeleteFacebook then? Me neither.

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If you've been using Google Chrome to store all of your logins and passwords, that's great - a lot better than scribbling your passwords on sticky notes and attaching them to your desktop monitor or laptop. Third-party password managers are even better (cross-platform, in many cases), and a new Chrome setting now makes it easy to move all of of your browser-saved passwords to a new app.

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Anyone aware of the poor track record companies such as Equifax or Kickstarter have when dealing with sensitive information is probably curious as to the strength of their passwords. Passwords made via random generation are generally more secure than passwords you invent yourself (looking at you, "abc123"). Now you can check to see whether or not your password is part of a growing list of leaked passwords using 1Password, which just integrated the cracked password database Pwned Passwords into its app.

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We're fans of password managers here, not only because they help you generate and save stronger passwords, but because they have a few more tricks up their sleeve. If you're using a password manager such as 1Password or Lastpass, you can use it as a digital double for your physical safe box (you do have one of those, right?).

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The sign up processes for online banking accounts, new email addresses, or health insurance apps all involve a few extra security measures to protect the precious data inside those accounts. Unfortunately, the security questions they make you answer aren't exactly secure. Your mother's maiden name just won't cut it anymore and, according to the New York Times, might cost you your credit score if someone gains access to your personal information. It's time to strengthen your security questions to keep the bad guys out of your accounts.

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Mac users running the latest version of Apple's operating system, High Sierra, are susceptible to a pretty huge flaw that could grant anyone with physical access to your Mac unfettered access to everything on your machine. The hack seems to be affecting only macOS High Sierra 10.13 and 10.13.1 versions. Luckily, Apple has now issued a fix.

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No doubt you've Googled yourself at least once to see what comes up (or to see what embarrassing photos and blog posts you need to purge from the web before your boss finds them). While doing a search for yourself might yield some predictable results -- your LinkedIn page, any mentions of you in the local paper, obituaries for other people with the same name -- a conversation with a friend on the topic of data breaches led me to search for something I rarely need to find: my own iCloud email address.

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On Tuesday, Techcrunch writer John Biggs had his phone number stolen by a hacker who gained control of Biggs' T-Mobile SIM card, granting him access to Biggs' phone number used to verify his identity. Biggs correctly employed SMS-based two-factor authentication on his accounts, but forgot to add extra security layers to his wireless carrier account. His attacker proceeded to lock him out of his accounts and attempt to demand ransom in bitcoin.

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Travelling with technology is always a little daunting, but it doesn't look like it's getting any easier. Whether it's a ban on electronic devices such as laptops when flying to certain countries, heightened screening procedures that require the removal of nearly all electronics from your bags, or border patrol agents demanding your personal information to search your phone, taking proper steps to secure your personal data has never been more important.

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Using a password manager is basically internet security 101 these days, but that doesn't make them any less intimidating. If you've never used a password manager, they're annoying, cumbersome to use, and baffling at a glance. 1Password is one of the easiest to use options around, but that doesn't mean you don't need some help setting it up.

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Most people know about good online security practices: make secure passwords, have a different one for each login and change them often. Far fewer people actually follow them -- but why? With the risk of hacking now greater than ever, it's important to have good password security practices, but most people still neglect them.