Hackers Gonna Hack—Use Password Apps And 2FA

cybersecurity vigilance

What could possibly go wrong? You’ve already seen the warnings about the barrage of new phishing scams, internet frauds, etc. I’m sure you knew they would come at this time of international crisis. Hackers gonna hack now especially because they know that more people are working online all day, every day. They also know that a huge amount of people are using their home computers to access the office. That means that your connections to the company servers can have different configurations and different levels of protection. You’ve already seen the warnings about the barrage of new phishing scams, internet frauds, etc.

Password Manager Apps – It’s Past Time To Do It, And You Have Time Now To Learn It

A password manager has many purposes, all of them helpful. It keeps all your passwords under one encrypted and password-protected roof. It generates strong passwords for you, and it will automatically insert them when you log into different sites. Almost all these tools work on the principle that you create a master password for access to your password vault, and then the password manager fills-in individual user IDs and passwords for the sites and apps you use. A major benefit to this approach is you no longer need to memorize the passwords yourself. You can give each site or app a complex, one-of-a-kind, hard to remember password.

There are many apps for password management out there these days. Aptica likes to use LastPass. One of LastPass’s strongest features is its security challenge. It will go through your entire password database and determine how many of your accounts have duplicate passwords even which ones have weak password protection.

LastPass also allows you to automatically change some passwords without having to do so manually. You can have a constantly changing set of identity information, which negates any value that older passwords have. LastPass has its own authentication app and, for some common websites, allows you to simply tap to authorize entrance. I recommend you read a good article from The Verge which walks you through the process of incorporating a password manager app into your everyday IT safety routine.

2FA – It’s Like Adding A Deadbolt To A Door

With 2FA, you put in your password to log in, but before you are allowed access to your data, you must have a second authentication. Usually, this is just a numeric code sent to your cell phone, to be used only once. Now there are specialized apps, and they have a set of rotating codes to be used as the second authentication.

A leader in 2FA is Google Authenticator (free on Android, iOS, BlackBerry). Two others who do the same thing are Twilio Authy (free on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, macOS, Windows, and the Chrome browser), and Duo Mobile (on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows phone). The second two present with a more interesting style and colors than the Google Authenticator. And, password manager LastPass has also launched a 2FA authenticator for iOS and Android. The codes generated in authenticator apps will sync across your accounts. Soon 2FA will be standard for all logins, I predict.

I hope learning about important cybersecurity tools is a part of your daily plan to be ready when commerce resumes. If you have any questions about password apps or 2FA protocol, give us a call. We can talk about it. Use this time wisely!

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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