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Hackers offer online safety tips

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For people who want to protect their devices and personal information, CNN’s Jose Pagliery reached out to hackers to get their pointers.

•  Only use your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you need them. By always keeping them on, hackers can see what other networks you’ve connected to and spoof them. You think you’re connecting to one of these networks, but it’s a device hackers carry around that allows them access to your information.

•  Use two-step authentication instead of a single password. Several email and social sites use this. If you log in from a new device, they’ll send you a text with a code in it. You’ll have to enter your password and the new code. This way, a hacker can’t get into the account unless she also has your phone.

•  Implement a password strategy. For sites you use that contain your most sensitive information, like banks, you should find a long phrase and alter it with capital letters, numbers and symbols. For everything else, use a password management service such as LastPass. And be sure to change all your passwords at least once a year.

•  Improve security on your home Wi-Fi. Don’t use the default password that comes with the device. Set up your own. Also, choose WPA-2 as the security encryption standard. Avoid WEP or WPA.

— Adapted from “7 Safety Tips from Hackers,” Jose Pagliery, CNN Money.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hitoshi Anatomi January 9, 2015 at 3:24 am

The two-factor authentication, though not a silver bullet, could be reliable when it comes with a reliable password. 2 is larger than 1 on paper, but two weak boys in the real world may well be far weaker than a toughened guy. Physical tokens and phones are easily lost, stolen and abused. Then the password would be the last resort. It should be strongly emphasized that a truly reliable 2-factor solution needed for important accounts requires the use of the most reliable password.

At the root of the password headache is the cognitive phenomena called “interference of memory”, by which we cannot firmly remember more than 5 text passwords on average. What worries us is not the password, but the textual password. The textual memory is only a small part of what we remember. We could think of making use of the larger part of our memory that is less subject to interference of memory. More attention could be paid to the efforts of expanding the password system to include images, particularly KNOWN images, as well as conventional texts.

By the way, some people shout that the password is dead or should be killed dead. The password could be killed only when there is an alternative to the password. Something belonging to the password(PIN, passphrase, etc)and something dependent on the password (ID federations, 2/multi-factor, etc) cannot be the alternative to the password. Neither can be something that has to be used together with the password (biometrics, auto-login, etc). What could be killed is the text password, not the password.

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