This week we have a guest blogger – Matthew Trump from www.viper-blue.co.uk. Matthew works as the IT Security Officer at the University of Kent and shares his passion for IT Security with a passion for presentations. Here are his hints and tips on how to keep your social media accounts secure.
With increasing numbers of accounts being compromised and passwords being revealed, how secure are your social media accounts?
It’s well known that people reuse passwords across different websites and across their social media accounts as well. If you are guilty of this then think of the consequences: the loss of your username (often an email address) and password from one account may well allow hackers access to all of your social media accounts. This could cost you, not just financially, but also reputationally.
In addition there is now a wealth of evidence from hacked passwords that the actual passwords which people use are simply not secure (http://stricture-group.com/files/adobe-top100.txt) and are frequently easily guessable (https://xato.net/passwords/more-top-worst-passwords)
So what can be done to address this problem? The easiest way is to use a password management program. There are a number available and some of them are free.
Programs such as keepass (keepass.info), lastpass(lastpass.com) and password safe (http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/) are all free. 1pass(https://agilebits.com/onepassword) is another such product which costs $49.99 for a single user licence and $69.99 for a five user family licence.
They create an encrypted password file which itself contains all of your passwords. They also generate passwords for you, so you can be sure that each one is totally random and hence unique. So if one password is compromised, the rest of your accounts are safe.
Many of these programs are cross platform so you can store your password file in Dropbox or other cloud storage and access it from whatever device you have to hand.
You can always experiment with the free products to see which one you like the most and the paid for products come with a time limited trial.