Cyber Hygiene: How to Manage Your Online Passwords Safely?

Cyber Hygiene: How to Manage Your Online Passwords Safely?

Everything happens online today, from our personal to our professional lives. All of our data online requires passwords that must be stored, so they don’t become vulnerable to cybercriminals. With 80% of data breaches caused by compromised passwords, it’s highly important to take cyber hygiene seriously and learn to manage your online passwords safely.

Many would agree that passwords are the pain of our existence, and if we could get rid of them, we would. However, they do provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to our computer systems and all the information stored on them.

Generally, cybercriminals don’t always have to breach an entire database to get their passwords. Instead, they use myriad tricks to obtain passwords, some of the main ones being:

  1. Social Engineering
  2. Malware
  3. Phishing

Oftentimes, having your password stolen isn’t a reflection of how bad and irresponsible you are as a person. In a world where the biggest companies have had data breaches, there’s a solid chance that a stolen password isn’t your fault at all. However, cybercriminals are out of your hands, so you need to take cyber hygiene very seriously.

Finally, one interesting tool that we can use to improve privacy, including our login details such as passwords, is a VPN. However, just like there are trustworthy VPN providers such as Le VPN, there are untrustworthy ones, so be extra careful with whom you are confiding your data.

Start with Your Browser’s Password Manager

Cyber Hygiene: How to Manage Your Online Passwords Safely? | Le VPN

Our online existence is ruled by passwords, and in a world where the average internet user has 100 passwords, it is impossible to remember each of them. Luckily, that’s where a good password manager swoops in and saves the day.

If you didn’t already know, popular internet browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox offer password management features. This is an excellent solution for those who use the same browser on their digital devices.

A lot of people depend on their browser-based password managers since they’re highly convenient and easy to use. For instance, every time you visit a new website that requires your username and password, your browser will instantly ask you if you’d like to save your login details.

If you decide to save them, the next time you visit these websites, the browser automatically fills the web forms for you, so you don’t need to do anything.

The main advantages of these tools are that they are user-friendly, convenient, free, and all of your passwords are synchronized across all devices.

On the other hand, if you use more than one browser, you will have to store your passwords separately on each one. Also, these password managers can’t detect reused passwords, or if your password needs strengthening, you are not safe from cybercriminals.

Try Out Cloud-Based Password Manager

As its name suggests, a cloud-based password manager protects your login details using cloud storage. While it works similarly to a browser-based password manager, the main difference is that you can use a cloud-based one to access multiple devices and operating systems. Therefore it offers a more hassle-free login process.

Generally, cloud-based password managers are safer than browser-based ones, as they offer more features that enhance security. For instance, they offer a backup for your vault. If something happened to the server, you would have the option to recover a recent version of your database.

Furthermore, a cloud-based password manager detects weak and reused passwords, making you far less vulnerable to hackers. The biggest drawback of this tool, though, is that third-party servers store your data, and you don’t have control over your vault security.

Consider Managing Your Online Passwords Offline

Unlike browser-based and cloud-based password managers, desktop-based management apps can keep track of your web and non-web passwords, such as your TikTok and Instagram app, your database software, or your work mail client.

Typically, these types of password managers only require you to remember one “big” password and will suggest secure unique passwords for all other sites you sign in to if you want to be protected from scams.

The multi-purpose use, high functionality, and great security features are some of the reasons why the majority of people opt for this option.

Furthermore, an off-web password manager lets you access your passwords and data anytime, even without a WiFi connection. It doesn’t utilize a server that a hacker can access, so it offers the best security out of all the mentioned options.

Some of the main drawbacks of these tools are complicated password sharing, manual backups, and no access from other devices. Additionally, for this type of password management, payment is required.

Wherever You Are, Whatever You Do, Don’t Forget Two-Step Verification

If you make the decision to use a password manager, two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication is mandatory if you require to secure your data online. This verification works as follows: You will enter your login details, and then a one-time code is generated and sent to you. Typically, the code comes as a text message.

The biggest advantage here is that even if your password gets leaked or stolen, you will have that extra layer of protection. And, unless the hacker also stole your phone, they’re going to have a very hard time logging in to your account.

Lastly, it would help if you considered running a password manager alongside a VPN. These two security measures are amazing on their own but are even greater together. While a good and reliable VPN from providers like Le VPN will cost you some money, it’s nothing compared to how safe you will feel and be every time you go online.

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Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

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