In light of the world’s largest online security breach this article will demonstrate why password security is crucial for every online business; no matter how large or small.
The famous auctioning site eBay recently urged users to change their passwords whilst experiencing one of the biggest cyber attacks in the world. Hackers made their way into a database holding the entirety of eBay’s 233 million users worldwide. At this time eBay’s users, including 15 million active British users, were at risk of identity theft as names, addresses, date of births, email addresses and telephone numbers were at danger of being stolen.
The auctioning site later admitted that between late February and early March 2014 hackers managed to enter eBay’s servers. Gaining access to an employee’s password credentials the hackers utilised the employees internal details to source and download the confidential information of eBay users.
The interesting element here, is that the break-in was not caused by a flaw in eBay’s internet servers or databases, instead human interaction and sheer deceptiveness managed to compromise the login credentials of a small number of employees, allowing unauthorised access to eBay’s substantial database.
Labelled the “Golden Goose” by security researchers for its large user base, even an online business as large as eBay can be affected by the obstacle of password security. A breach such as this may lead to a loss of brand loyalty and consumer confidence; built up over an established period of time it can be knocked down within a matter of seconds.
With this in mind here are 5 top password tips that you should utilise to ensure that you don’t face similar password problems:
- Ambiguity: Don’t choose a password that is obviously associated with you – don’t forget hackers can quickly and easily source relevant information about you from channels such as social media.
- Nonsense words: Select a password that is not a standard English and that cannot be found in the English Dictionary. It can be easy for hackers to pre-calculate the forms of entire dictionaries and reverse engineer your password.
- Mixtures: Try using a mixture of unusual characters. You can use a word of phrase that is easy for you to remember but replace some of the letters with substitute numbers, E.g., p455w0rd
- Variety: Always use an entirely different password for each operating system or site that you need login details for. If a hacker manages to gain access to one system you don’t want them having the key to access all of your other accounts.
- Classified Information: Confidentiality is key. With multiple passwords for each account it is tempting to jot down the information in a ‘safe place’ incase you ever forget, however it is better to use a form of secure password vault on your phone, such as Dashlane and Kepper.
Along with these 5 top password security tips you must never break the most obvious cardinal sin – always keep your lips locked and never tell anyone your passwords.