Although they are widely used, passwords are not nearly as safe as perhaps they once were. In fact, hackers around the world would most likely be able to crack your password in a matter of minutes, leaving you stumped, and you can’t help but wonder, “Was my password that weak?”. However, this is not the question to ask. Instead, you must find and use the alternative solutions utilised by the general public. Here we have some helpful hints:
This password-like security system is more effective than the classic password. A pass-phrase contains a series of words, similar to a sentence and they are relatively easy to remember, as they aren’t a random selection of words. Also, the presence of numerous words in one password makes it a stronger authentication method. A phrase could be your personal motto, a line from your favourite storybook or a memorable quote. Either way, a pass-phrase is bound to be harder to guess than a classic password (unless someone close to you knows you extremely well, of course!).
This form of security is based on behavioural and physical features which are digitally encoded. A machine will keep a record of your biometric information, and each time you access it, the system will compare the input to the currently stored record. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to gain access and it’s even easier for the people using it. There’s no need to remember a password — your fingerprint, face or eyes are always available to validate your identity.
This type of security is actually widely available, but not many people are taking advantage of it yet. Quite simply, instead of requiring just a password, you need an extra piece of information to sign-in. This could be a passcode you’ve been given, or you may perhaps receive an SMS with a unique verification code.
SMS is the most popular means of receiving authentication like this and all you require is a mobile phone for it to work. Like other options, this exponentially increases the security of the system and is quick, easy and painless in most cases.
Arguably one of the coolest methods of authentication to date, digital signatures are a recent invention in terms of digital security. Not only does this allow you to write your real signature on tablets, etc., — but it’s also a secure form of authentication. The server compares the signature entered to the one on disk, and unless someone can perfectly reproduce your signature, you’ll be the only one accessing the account.
There are many available solutions to keep your data secure, but are you taking advantage of them? Do you know how to create strong passwords and pass-phrases? Learning — and using — some of these options is essential if you are to stay secure and protect your valuable information. The key to data security is to stay ahead of the game and be proactive in encrypting your data – not waiting until disaster strikes before it becomes a priority for your company.
Damian Coates is the Commercial Accounts Director at city-based IT support company Utilize. It’s the job of his team to keep clients up to date with the latest data security methods, so his knowledge of the latest practices and applications is second to none.