Password Security on the Internet
The security of personal data is a major area of concern as we’re constantly hearing about more frequent online security breaches. Unfortunately, this will continue so you need to be more aware.
Self-protection is a simple way to help mitigate lost as you have control of where and how you enter information. Ask yourself the questions:-
- Do I trust a particular organisation to look after my personal data?
- Should I let a particular company hold my credit card information?
Below are some simple rules for entering data on the Internet
- Use multiple email addresses. This will allow you to have a separation between the type of information received. Think about it, do you need to use your main email address when signing up for stuff on the web?
- Use multiple passwords. Have a password for trivial stuff like signing up to download software or newsletters. Have separate passwords for email and social networking which you change on a regular basis. (Ensure that they are not the same) Then there are passwords for financial institutions which will probably enforce specific criteria on the password construction. (Well I hope they do).
- Should you allow your credit card information to be stored? Websites like Amazon or web applications like iTunes store your credit card to speed up purchases. I recommend deleting this information after every purchase but this may not be practical. It’s all about trust, do you trust the website organisation to protect this data? Corporations which have a business model which relies predominately on website sales, or financial institutions (banks, credit card companies, PayPal) will most probably do a good job.
I can’t remember different passwords you say. Consumer users tend not to set strong passwords. They also tend to use the same password for multiple websites. Unfortunately, password separation between general web, email, social networking & financial logons is essential.
Consider a recent incident. The breached information included credit card details, an email address and the password (because the password wasn’t encrypted). Now imagine if you had used the same password for your email, social networking, etc… Now can you see why password separation is important?
This is not new information, it’s just been related to the recent security incidents featured in the news. Unfortunately, there will be more incidents so it worth taking a minute to consider this simple method the protect your personal information.