These days media is giving more and more coverage to cyber attacks so you could be forgiven for thinking the we are at a greater risk of being hacked, because in part it is true. Although, lately, what we are seeing more recently are smart devices connected the internet (i.e. printers and webcams etc.), being used as vessels to mount attacks on websites. A lot of these devices are internet, or at least, network dependent and are set with default passwords that can be easy to guess, which can’t always be changed. Recently, hackers launched an attack on a DNS service, exploiting these weaknesses using Mirai malware. The target for the attack was a company called Dyn, resulting in popular sites like Reddit and Spotify who use the service, being temporarily downed. The hackers used thousands of vunerable devices to hurl spam and faked traffic at the site to overwhelm it, jamming up the services.
Now, whilst there won’t be a lot that can be done if you can’t change the default passwords on your printer, or other similar devices connected to your network, it may be a good time to change passwords for those site you use which may hold some of your more valuable information. SA Graphics provides security checks as part of ongoing maintenance services that many of our customers choose. Doing this on a daily basis, we often see blocked malware attacks and pages of Brute Force attempts to login to the back end of a website, all of which unsuccessful.
The best way to protect your login details is also the easiest – Choose a good password. Random password generators are the most easily accessible way of choosing something secure. The generators will provide something unique from a specified amount of characters, using the alphabet in both lower and upper case as well as numbers. The reason these passwords are much more secure is because they have no context to personal details and can’t be easily guessed or found out, not like your mother’s maiden name or the breed of your first pet dog. Obviously, these random combination passwords will be hard to remember, that’s kind of the point. What I would recommend doing is keeping a list of these passwords saved on a notepad document on the cloud (iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox perhaps). Even a list stored somewhere that’s easily accessible to you, (obviously protected by a secure login using a good password), will be much safer than passwords that aren’t written down and only exist in your mind. Also, by ticking the ‘Remember Me’ option on sites and apps will make it quicker and easier for you to login and your login info will be kept safe and usually encrypted by the site provider or your web browser. This having to open up your password document EVERY time you want to access you accounts.
A similar way to do this that could save hassle, is to install a password manager. This software will require one login and a a master password and once signed in, it will recognise any site you’re trying to log into and automatically fill in your passwords. however, on the first time logging into, say, you Amazon for example, the password manager will offer to generate a random password to replace your old one. This method could save you a lot of time and also hopefully, save you from forgetting any of your login info ever again!