The number of data breaches may have declined in early 2020, but that doesn’t mean any of us should let down our guard.
In a world where we’re online more often than not, there are more opportunities than ever for hackers to make off with passwords and other sensitive data.
But if you’re not sure what to make of the news reports on password breaches and data leaks, you may not know why this information is so important. Here’s what you should know about your online security.
What Is a Password Breach?
As the name suggests, a password breach occurs when a third party steals or guesses your password. As a result, any information you have stored on the related site or software, including personal data, may find its way into the hands of a stranger.
How Do Password Breaches Happen?
There are a few different ways someone can get their hands on your password. For most of these, taking some simple preventative measures will be enough to keep your password in the right hands.
This is the simplest method of all, and it often happens when you’ve chosen a weak password. If you’ve picked one of the most common passwords, for example, it’s easy for a third party to guess it with little trouble. Otherwise, someone close to you may guess your password based on their knowledge of you, especially if that password is something obvious like a birthday or child’s name.
Brute-force attacks occur when a computer program tries every possible combination of letters and numbers until it figures out your password. This is why picking strong passwords is helpful: more complex passwords can take computers years or even decades to figure out. Find out how safe your password is with this site.
While this isn’t a traditional “attack,” phishing attempts are growing more common. Phishing emails claim to come from legitimate sources like a bank, asking you to enter your login information by clicking a link—which would be the same as handing hackers your password.
When cybercriminals hack into a company’s database, they may be able to steal any private information you have stored there. This information can include passwords, names, phone numbers, home addresses, and even Social Security numbers or medical details, depending on the breach.
How Do You Know if Your Password Has Been Stolen?
If your password has been breached, you may not know right away. If it’s been stolen through a guess or phishing, you may only know once the hacker uses the password in your name.
Even with a database breach, companies may not reveal the fact of the breach to the public until much later. However, it’s still a good idea to do a password breach check every now and then to know if your information has been exposed in a security breach.
How Can You Prevent Password Breaches?
Ultimately, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent password theft. That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of how your information is used online, which helps avoid serious financial consequences and identity theft. However, using a service like WeProtectId.uk can help protect your data from falling into the wrong hands.
To lessen the chances of a password breach, follow a few simple best practices. First, use strong and complex passwords with every website, and don’t use the same password twice. Change your passwords often, and use a password manager instead of writing them down.
These simple strategies can make it difficult for any hacker to make off with your private data.
Follow Best Practices for Online Security
Today’s digital world can seem like a lawless place, with hackers working to steal private information at every turn. But knowing the hard facts about password breaches, as well as how to prevent them, can make it easier to keep your information safe where it belongs.
Want more quick guides to help you protect yourself online and offline? Check out our other posts for more info.