Touch ID and other fingerprint scanning technologies are wonderfully convenient additions to our smartphones that enable easy mobile payments and quick device unlocking. However, Elliot Williams at HackADay has written a thought-provoking essay explaining why you should never rely on Touch ID in lieu of using a password on your device, no matter how convenient it is. More →
Using weak passwords makes you a prime target for hackers, who have shown over the years that they can eat such subpar security measures for breakfast. Luckily, there are simple ways to ensure your online accounts are protected. These include using unique passwords for each service, creating long enough passwords that are easily rememberable, using password-managing services, and changing your passwords once in a while.
Interestingly, one 11-year-old girl can help with this by generating a long password for you that’s easily memorable and hard to crack. In fact, she even has an online site where she sells each password for $2 each. More →
Many companies are trying to kill the password in an attempt to improve the security of online services, and Yahoo is ready to give it a try. The company on Thursday announced new Yahoo Mail apps for iPhone, iPad and Android, featuring a bunch of new features including Yahoo Account Key, a more secure way of logging into the mail app. And, you’ve guessed it, Yahoo Account Key doesn’t need a password. More →
A new in-depth study from Google reveals that the security questions most individuals use as an additional layer of security are often less secure and easier to guess than user-chosen passwords. This is especially problematic given that security questions are often the only line of defense when a password is forgotten and needs to be resent or reset.
Interestingly enough, Google found that security questions tend to be weak because many individuals lie when answering them. Specifically, Google discovered that many people who provide fake answers to security questions do so to make them harder to guess. But as it turns out, “on aggregate this behavior had the opposite effect as people harden their answers in a predictable way.” Compounding the problem is that many users, as a result, also have a difficult time remembering their security question answers in the first place. This is especially true when the questions chosen are exceedingly specific.
In case you happen to have one or multiple adult dating website profiles, you might consider securing them right away, as one of the world’s largest such websites has been hit by hackers. The attackers managed to steal highly sensitive personal data for four million users, leaking them online in spreadsheet format. More →
Passwords, PINs and fingerprints are currently used to unlock or sign into various devices and services, but these security layers might one day be replaced by a far more advanced tool: your brain. More →
Malicious hackers spend much of their time developing sophisticated attacks and complex new ways to steal people’s credit card numbers, bank account information and other private data. It’s getting more and more difficult to protect ourselves from these hacks, especially when just about anyone can go online and hire a hacker these days.
But for many people, all of the hard work these hackers put into ruining our lives is a waste of time, because they make things remarkably easy for hackers by using the worst passwords on the planet. More →
eBay on Thursday acknowledged that some of its customers’ personal information may have been compromised following a breach, advising users to immediately change their passwords. The announcement has apparently been enough for some creative individuals with malicious intentions to advertise online “full eBay database dumps,” masquerading as the hackers that conducted the cyberattack. However, TechCrunch reports that eBay says those databases are fake, and the for sale lists do not contain “authentic eBay accounts,” which is very good news for eBay consumers whose personal data may have been exposed. More →
Heartbleed, the massive security threat that has recently affected millions of websites, was patched by most large Internet companies and by many site owners, but regular Internet users failed to grasp the significance of the threat, a new Avast study revealed. Furthermore, less than half of those people who knew about Heartbleed failed to take any action once sites fixed the problem. More →
It seems obvious, but passwords are our first line of defense against a growing army of nefarious hackers looking to steal our data, money or even identities. While many people know how serious the issue of cybersecurity is, many still use passwords that are remarkably bad. Compounding matters is the common practice of using the same password across multiple accounts, so a hacker who gains access to one account may be able to breach others. But protecting yourself is easy and there’s just no excuse for leaving your accounts vulnerable with bad passwords. More →
New research conducted by SplashData revealed that “password” isn’t the dumbest password choice around anymore, as it has been replaced by “123456,” for the past year. However, “password” fell only one position compared with 2012, basically switching places with “123456.” The list of weak passwords includes various other obvious combinations such as “qwerty,” “iloveyou,” “1234,” “111111” and “000000.” Passwords such as “adobe123” or “photoshop” also made the top 20, revealing that many Internet users may choose passwords that are similar to the services they’re logging into. More →
Every other week it seems like we have to create new passwords that are increasingly complex and difficult to remember, with more requirements for capital letters, numbers and symbols aimed at preventing hackers from accessing our account information. Even worse, some sites even tell us to periodically change our passwords, which means that just as we’ve finally gotten comfortable with the passwords we have, we’re forced to memorize new ones. Wouter Smet, who is “employed as Growth Hacker at social media management software company Engagor,” has written a very thorough guide to help people create smart password strategies that also shows us just how ridiculous the standard password system has become. More →
Computer users over the age of 55 employ passwords that are twice as secure as passwords used by those under 25 years old. A recent study conducted by Joseph Bonneau, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge, analyzed almost 70 million passwords belonging to Yahoo users around the world. Ensuring that data was kept anonymous and passwords could not be tied to individual accounts, Bonneau looked at password strength alongside other data such as age and locale. Beyond the relationship between age and security, the researcher found that German and Korea speakers generally use the strongest passwords, and the presence of credit card data on a user’s account seemingly does not prompt that user to avoid weak passwords such as “123456.” Bonneau’s study was the largest of its kind, and he unveiled his findings at the Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Francisco, California earlier this month. More →