How To Keep Your Password Secured

Secure password
The greatest lesson learnt from the Heartbleed security threat is passwords don’t offer total protection.
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Many security experts recommend a second layer of authentication: typically in the form of a numeric code sent as a text message. If you’re logging in to a website from your laptop, for example, you enter your password first. Then you type in the code you receive via text to verify that it’s really you and not a hacker.

The aim of the double-layer passwords is to make it harder to use a password that’s compromised or guessed. And the second piece of information that only you are supposed to know and nobody else. Obviously, it won’t help when your laptop is stolen, but it’ll prevent others from using your password on their machines. If you’re logging in at a library or other public computer, remember to reject the option to bypass that check next time.

The second piece of authentication could be your fingerprint or retina scan, though such biometric IDs are rarely used for consumer services. Financial services typically ask for a security question, such as the name of your childhood pet, the first time you use a particular Web browser or device.

The two-step requirement is fairly simple to turn on. With Google, for instance, it’s under the Security tab in your account settings. On Facebook, look for Login Approvals under Security in the settings. With Apple IDs, visit appleid.apple.com rather than the account settings on iTunes.

After you enable it, you’ll typically have to sign in to your account again on various Web browsers and devices. After entering your username and password, a code will get set to your phone. You’ll have to enter that to finish signing in. This has occasionally meant getting off my couch to grab my phone from the charger, but that’s a small price for security.

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