2013 was definitely the year of the password breech with millions of user details, including passwords, escaping into the wild. The major problem is that many people use the same password on different services. So with one lot of account details, hackers simply have to work their way through other sites trying the one password they already have. Their chances of gaining access in other locations is extremely high.
If you use any online services how do you check to see whether your details have escaped into the wild? A new way is to use the site:
which was developed by Microsoft Security MVP Troy Hunt.You can read all about his thinking behind the site at his blog here:
It makes for interesting reading.
Obviously if you find that your account has been compromised you need to immediately go there and change your password. You also need to ensure that you use unique password with every site you access.
Having a unique and complex password for every site is firstly a pain to generate but even more so to remember. The best solution is to use a product like Lastpass.
Lastpass works on just about every device you own, including smart phones, and stores all your passwords in an encrypted store that is then uploaded to the Internet and shared between all your devices so you always have access. Importantly, all encryption is done locally before uploading to the Internet which means that only you will ever know your passwords.
Lastpass will also generate a secure password and then remember it automatically. when you return to that site and best of all fill in the fields automatically for you.
Using something like Lastpass means that you will be much more secure and that if one site is breeched then access to any other site is different. Lastpass is also convenient and runs on every platform you use today and the best part is that Lastpass is free! Yes, all this security for nothing means that there should be no reason to not be more secure.