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Password Security – Staying one step ahead of evil on the Internet

Passwords are a pain. There are really two goals with passwords and they are diametrically opposed. I want the process to be EASY but I also demand that I stay SECURE.
My journey with passwords over the years has gone lots of different places. Quite frankly, my primary motivation in the past has been convenience. I just wanted to get stuff done.
Recently, I’ve become more motivated by the realization that security really matters. It is not paranoia if people are really after you….AND THEY ARE!

There are more bad guys around the globe and their tools continue to get more sophisticated. I have recently seen small businesses get hit with ransomware and other viruses causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Much of this is not talked about openly because companies typically don’t want you, or their customers or their shareholders to know that they have been violated.

I am certainly not a security expert. What I am is a small business owner who is determined to protect myself and help my friends and clients stay safe too.
What do you need to protect? For me the list is very long…well so long that I really don’t have a list in one place. I do lots of stuff on the internet every day. I suggest you take stock of how many different accounts you have various places, especially places where someone could login as you and spend your money.
The first really critical thing to secure is your email account because it can be a gateway to everything else. I use Google for Work (Gmail) and I have turned on their two factor authentication as a first line of defense. If you want to learn more about two factor authentication, please make sure you have joined BT4SB so you can see the complete blog post with the attached resources.
The other security measure that has changed my life online is Dashlane Password Manager. I have used other password managers. Some lasted a few days and some even a few weeks. This one has changed everything. I started out with their free trial and got hooked pretty quickly. It remembered all of my passwords and got me logged in really quickly. Better still, I started to let it generate new strong passwords for my sites that I don’t even have to remember. The password manager does it for me.
Now I also have it working on my phone, remembering passwords there too.
Unfortunately, you are probably more vulnerable than you realize.
I’ve prepared a simple PDF Cheat Sheet to explain a few of the basic concepts of password security.
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Members can access more content related to this article:
  • Video of the BT4SB ‘Office Hours” discussion about passwords.
  • Getting Started video from Dashlane
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Passwords can be cumbersome to manage because there are two opposing goals: convenience and security. Balancing the need for an easy-to-use process with the demand for strong security measures can be challenging.

It is essential to take stock of the various accounts held across different platforms, particularly those where unauthorized access could lead to financial loss. Understanding the breadth of online accounts helps in identifying areas that require protection.

Securing the email account is paramount because it can serve as a gateway to other accounts. Two-factor authentication, such as Google’s two-factor authentication for Gmail, can be an effective first line of defense. Joining BT4SB (Big Technology for Small Business) can provide more information on two-factor authentication.

People often underestimate their vulnerability to cyber threats. It serves as a reminder to take proactive steps to protect oneself online, including implementing robust security measures and staying informed about potential risks.

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