If all of the recent security breaches and data hacks have taught us anything, it’s that we could stand to take password security a little more seriously.
According to a recent study, up to 51% of users reuse the same password across multiple accounts. That bad habit has been cited as one of the main reasons why people get hacked so easily. If someone can gain access to just one of your accounts, and that account shares the same password with everything else, that hacker basically has unfettered access to your entire digital life.
There are a number of ways to beef up your security, but at the end of the day, one of the best methods is to enable two-step verification whenever it’s an option.
With this system, you log into your account by doing two things:
- Entering your username and password
- Entering a code sent to your phone via text
For the impatient, this might sound like a hassle, but this method has been proven to drastically reduce the chances of someone getting into your account. They’d basically need to have both your login information and your phone in order to get into your account.
And if your phone is password protected too, then it adds yet another layer of protection.
Many sites offer two-step verification, most notably Dropbox, which recently had a data breach scare and emphasized on their blog the importance of this method.
Here’s where you might want to consider enabling it:
- Your Apple ID
- Your Microsoft account
- All of your Google accounts
- Your online banking account (if available)
You can actually find a whole list of sites that utilize two-step verification—as well as those who don’t and probably should—on twofactorauth.org.
Be safe out there, kids!