July 26, 2013
Enola Labs

Enola Labs creates custom strategy and products for mobile and web.

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The fear of someone gaining access to your valuable online information or personal application data is something that we all have legitimate concerns about. The issue of online security has not only been a problem for the general user, but many major companies have also been victims.

Vulnerability of Passwords

Passwords are becoming more vulnerable of being obtained by an outside source. Passwords act as the foundation of which we do business online.The dilemma is that as the internet has grown, we now possess a countless number of accounts that are scattered across the Web. These passwords and usernames act as a fingerprint that shows where we have been or visited. The common mistake that we make is to use the same passwords for multiple accounts which in turn increases one’s vulnerability.

Recent Password Threats

The most primitive way for someone to gain access to your personal information is to obtain your username and password. This is what happened to Tumblr users last week. As reported via an article from the New Yorker, iPhone/iPad users were instructed by the Tumblr staff blog to download a new version of the Tumblr app as well as update their password on every device with which the password may of been used. The problem? Versions of its app for the iPhone/iPad insecurely transmitted user log-ins in plain text which allows them to be potentially captured by anyone else on the same Wi-Fi network. This means that if there was a tech savvy individual sitting by you in Starbucks, they could have the potential to obtain your password.

This is only one of many incidents that have been in the news recently. You only have to look as far as this February when Twitter announced dropping over 250,000 thousand passwords, or last summer when Linkedin announce that their network was hacked therefore putting over 6.5 million users passwords at risk. These incidents act as a reminder that no matter how much you try, the threat of having your online security put at risk is very real.

How to Prevent Security Threats

As we have mentioned above, a common practice by many individuals is to use the same password for multiple accounts. Although, this may be convenient, it increases one’s vulnerability. Probably the easiest way to resolve this issue is to make a different and unique password for each one of your accounts. Even though it helps protect your accounts, the time it takes to organize all of your passwords or remembering them may be more trouble than what it is worth.

Another option is to utilize the services of password managers such as LastPass or 1Password. By doing this it allows you to have multiple passwords saved and all you have to remember is the master login. Although it is not the most ideal option because you would no longer remember each one of your passwords, your digital life is at a smaller risk.

Finally, you will also be happy to hear that an additional security feature is being adopted by many companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. This feature offers additional protection to the user when logging into their account. This feature is a two-factor authentication in which the user is prompted to enter an additional code when logging into their account on a new device. This additional feature is helpful because for a hacker to gain access to your account, they would need to obtain both your password and your second code.