Connect with us


Get your passwords in shape for 2019

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

I’ll use fewer passwords

Surely a mistake, right? Well, it may sound counterintuitive, but fixing your passwords may also imply needing fewer of them in the first place. More precisely, it means cutting ties with the services you no longer use, so that you needn’t ‘look after’ your accounts with them.  We’ll all have set up accounts that we no longer use. Indeed, we may have racked up quite a few of them over the years, including some that we barely remember. However, the adage ‘the internet never forgets’ fits here too, and forgetting is something you shouldn’t do, either.

The trouble with unused accounts is that each of them – even if only a vestige of your much younger self – is a potential source of danger. The service may suffer a breach exposing your password or may be sold to new owners whose intentions might not exactly be honest. Or, if miscreants take over your account, they might be able to use it to break into one of your highly valued accounts, be it gathering private information about you, or through your failing to use a unique password for each account. Or they can just as well use it to spew out spam.

But what doesn’t exist can’t be taken over, can it? Feel no remorse: just dispatch those accounts to a better place and never look back.  There are even services that promise to scale back your online footprint in bulk; that is, without you having to recall or comb through and then manually shut down each inactive account.  Using a service just to help kill online account may not be for everybody, however, as essentially you need to take the developers of such tools at their word.

While you’re cutting the clutter, consider severing ties also with third-party apps and services that are associated with your accounts on social and other major sites, especially the apps that you no longer use. These apps, too, can be misused as other entry points for illicit data collection or even worse. To pull the plug on their access to your account and data, navigate to the privacy and/or security settings of your online service(s) of choice; from there, it usually takes only a click or two.

Next step

Staying safe online isn’t going to become any easier this year, and we’ll be back in a few days with more tips for beefing up your personal security. Next time, we’ll focus mainly on a couple of easy ways to boost the security of your wireless network.

Click here to find out how biometerics are coming to web browsers.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Subscribe to our free newsletter
To Top