Five great ways to strengthen your password security

Five great ways to strengthen your password security

A major password hack is in the news every few weeks; most times, the main reason is (simply) weak passwords. Don’t want to be a victim of the next hack? In this blog, we’ll take a look at five easy steps that you can take to make your passwords stronger.
Five great ways to strengthen your password security

Many people are still using the simple passwords they created in the early 2000s. Getting hacked wasn’t such a huge concern for organizations and their employees. However, as we become even more connected as a society, there is an increase in the risk that threat actors pose. For example, quoted in our article regarding the role of remote access in cyberattacks, brute force guessing of passwords was a factor in 78% of all ransomware attacks.

A simple look at the most common passwords in 2021 should make any security expert’s skin crawl. We have a problem when 123456 (and the “more secure” 123456789) are the only ones more used than qwerty. Nobody wants to (or even can) remember the long random letter and number combinations. After all, it’s much quicker to tap in the same old password for everything – and to be very clear, this is a practice you shouldn’t be doing under any circumstances!

The most common passwords haven’t changed much. Their ongoing prevalence makes it a cakewalk for hackers to break in. So what can your company and your employees do about it?

1. Use a password manager.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication everywhere.
3. Don’t share passwords, no matter what.
4. Check for previous hacks and delete your old accounts.
5. Avoid public Wi-Fi.

Many people are still using the simple passwords they created in the early 2000s. Getting hacked wasn’t such a huge concern for organizations and their employees. However, as we become even more connected as a society, there is an increase in the risk that threat actors pose. For example, quoted in our article regarding the role of remote access in cyberattacks, brute force guessing of passwords was a factor in 78% of all ransomware attacks.

A simple look at the most common passwords in 2021 should make any security expert’s skin crawl. We have a problem when 123456 (and the “more secure” 123456789) are the only ones more used than qwerty. Nobody wants to (or even can) remember the long random letter and number combinations. After all, it’s much quicker to tap in the same old password for everything – and to be very clear, this is a practice you shouldn’t be doing under any circumstances!

The most common passwords haven’t changed much. Their ongoing prevalence makes it a cakewalk for hackers to break in. So what can your company and your employees do about it?

1. Use a password manager.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication everywhere.
3. Don’t share passwords, no matter what.
4. Check for previous hacks and delete your old accounts.
5. Avoid public Wi-Fi.

1. Use a password manager

 

Passwords are a pretty vulnerable security measure, but they’re unavoidable in most cases. You can, however, take steps to minimize the risk they pose.

A good password manager eliminates the need to create and remember complex passwords. It will generate a random, unique password when needed. You can then save it in an encrypted vault to use whenever you need it. Ideally, all passwords should generate strong, “makes-no-sense-if-you-read-it” combinations.

Not only does this make it harder to crack into your account by brute force, but if one account becomes compromised, your others are still safe.

Users only need to remember the password manager’s password. Make sure it is a strong one that only you know. Some password manager apps can also use your smartphone’s biometric sensors to unlock. Personally, Bitwarden has proved to be a great choice, but there are many great options that your organization can deploy.

2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication everywhere

 

Using a password alone is like locking the doors but leaving all your windows open. You may have closed the easiest route, but the intruder can still get inside with a bit of work.

Most accounts will use multi-factor authentication (MFA). Once you have entered your password, you will get a code/link via text or email with MFA. You can also generate the code in a secure app (or approve the login). You will need to enter it to prove you are the account’s legitimate owner.

From a remote access perspective, MFA is a crucial step in ensuring that safety is at the forefront of remote sessions and that the users connecting to different devices are who they say they are.

While texting or emailing a code is the most common second factor used in MFA, they aren’t the only options. Multi-factor authentication can combine multiple credentials that are unique to the user, such as:

  • Something the user knows – a password or the answer to a pre-set question.
  • Something the user carries to authenticate – a card or key fob.
  • Something unique to the user – a fingerprint or facial recognition.

The benefit of adding a second layer of security is that the password is not enough to access an account. Even if an attacker has it, there is another obstacle to accessing the account. The benefits of MFA being part of your remote access strategy are immense.

And since we were mentioning password managers, make sure that you choose one that uses MFA – enable it and always use it!

3. Don’t share passwords, no matter what

 

While this might be obvious, many hacks happen because users tend to share passwords. And this has started occurring much more often since we all use streaming services. For example, more than a quarter of Netflix’s UK subscribers share their passwords. Since many users are likely to use the same passwords, many hacks are waiting to happen (let’s hope that at least they use MFA on their other accounts).

Additionally, if you can impose a password policy for your users, make it a complex one. Employees might not be pleased when having to change or remember passwords, but the long-term gains and extra security are second to none.

4. Check for previous hacks and delete your old accounts

 

Remember signing up for that random account ten years ago to enter a competition? Neither do we, but did you know that website got hacked in 2015? The more accounts your employees have, the more vulnerable your organization is to external risks – especially if you’ve used the same password everywhere.

You can check if your email address shows up in any data breaches at haveibeenpwned.com and sign up to get an alert when new breaches happen. A seasonal purge of old accounts will remove the burden of potential future attacks, leaving your company feeling more at ease.

5. Avoid public wi-fi

 

The internet has become so integrated with almost every aspect of our lives that in 2016 the UN declared internet access a basic human right. Public Wi-Fi is everywhere and a key player in compromising password security. On top of that, life beyond 2020 means flexible working is here to stay for many companies, indicating employees will have more freedom regarding where they work – from a coffee shop, a commuter train, or even an airport.

However, if you’re concerned about your company’s data security, you might want to advise not to connect every time a Wi-Fi notification pops up. When it comes to public Wi-Fi, there is no way of knowing who may be monitoring the session, from the URLs visited through to the keystrokes that users input.

The best way to browse risk-free is not to use public Wi-Fi, but sometimes it’s unavoidable when the 5G signal is non-existent.

Many reputable VPNs are available if public Wi-Fi is a must, even for smartphones. They will add an extra layer of security to keep data safe, especially for corporate devices.

Completely bulletproof security doesn’t exist. Taking all the steps available to protect data puts your organization in the next best position. If you are using a remote access solution, ensure it is secure and that it offers encryption on all connections, rich session permissions, and granular access control.

Cybercriminals will always look for new ways to weasel their way in, keeping us all on our security toes. It’s for us to make sure that they fail to succeed.

Source: realvnc

Data Recovery Service – Irvine – Orange County – PC Expert Services

Data Recovery Service – Irvine – Orange County – PC Expert Services

What is Data Recovery? 

Data recovery is the process of restoring data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible.
In enterprise IT, data recovery typically refers to the restoration of data to a desktop, laptop, server or external storage system from a backup.

Data recovery can be performed on a variety of storage devices including internal storage drive of laptop or desktop, external hard disk drive, solid-state drive, USB flash drive, optical storage medium (CD/DVD/BD), and memory card (SD, SDHC, SDXC).

What causes Data Loss?

Most data loss is caused by human error, rather than malicious attacks, human error accounted for almost two-thirds of the incidents reported. The most common type of breach occurred when someone sent data to the wrong person.
Other common causes of data loss include power outages, natural disasters, equipment failures or malfunctions, accidental deletion of data, unintentionally formatting a hard drive, damaged hard drive read/write heads, software crashes, logical errors, firmware corruption, continued use of a computer after signs of failure, physical damage to hard drives, laptop theft, and spilling coffee or water on a computer.

How Data Recovery works

The data recovery process varies, depending on the circumstances of the data loss.
Data recovery is possible because a file and the information about that file are stored in different places. For example, the Windows operating system uses a file allocation table to track which files are on the hard drive and where they are stored. The allocation table is like a book’s table of contents, while the actual files on the hard drive are like the pages in the book.
When data needs to be recovered, it’s usually only the file allocation table that’s not working properly. The actual file to be recovered may still be on the hard drive in flawless condition. If the file still exists — and it is not damaged or encrypted — it can be recovered. If the file is damaged, missing or encrypted, there are other ways of recovering it. If the file is physically damaged, it can still be reconstructed.

So, when data is deleted or a drive is formatted, the data is not removed from the storage drive. Rather, the data remains intactin the storage medium in an inaccessible state ready to be overwritten by new data. This marooned data can be retrieved by using a data recovery software that uses file signatures to scan the entire storage drive bit by bit. You can then preview and select the required data from the scanned items and recover them to a distinct storage drive to avoid overwriting. In case the data that you are trying to recover is overwritten or corrupt, it can’t be fixed by a data recovery software.

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LENOVO ThinkPad, IdeaPad, ThinkBook, Yoga Laptops

The Lenovo laptops consistently rank near the top best laptops rankings. From the excellent ThinkPad business laptops to the sleek Yoga notebook and affordable Ideapad laptopsLenovo offers something for all types of users. The Lenovo company offers an extensive product lineup with some of the best notebooks you can get from any manufacturer. Lenovo makes laptops for just about every type of user, from children in school to gamers and business executives. Lenovo has operations in more than 60 countries and sells its products in around 160 countries.

Relentless innovation. Trusted quality. Purposeful design.

Featuring first-to-market technology that works smarter for you, our ThinkPad portfolio delivers reliability you can count on. All of our devices are MIL-SPEC tested against extreme conditions. Lenovo offers remote manageability options, as well as advanced security solutions with ThinkShield, an integrated suite of hardware and software. Enterprise-level support available to keep you up and running.

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Lightweight and stylish, Lenovo ThinkBooks offer seamless security and efficiencies. Features like Modern Standby and Smart Power On help to boost performance and improve productivity. Plus voice control, dual-screen designs, and enhanced audio put technology to work for your business. Includes SMB-grade support offerings.

Industry-leading desktop innovation

Lenovo engineered ThinkCentre desktops to accommodate the reality of shrinking office space. Lenovo innovative designs include the phone-sized Nano, the industry-first 1L Tiny and Tiny-in-one, traditional tower PCs, and our all-in-ones. These PCs deliver superior performance, lifecycle stability, robust security, and premium support offerings.
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Lenovo Laptops
Relentless innovation. Trusted quality. Purposeful design.
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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 3rd Generation

With its 360-degree hinge, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga moves with you. The phenomenal HDR display option delivers 100% color gamut for vivid and true-to-life visuals. The integrated ThinkPad Pen provides the perfect outlet for your creativity. 

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Raise the bar with the ThinkPad T480. Boasting the power-packed processors and an all-day battery, this 14″ laptop is robust yet light enough to accompany you anywhere. Practical touches include a backlit keyboard and an array of ports, while the enhanced security features help safeguard your work wherever the job takes you.
Lenovo ThinkPad X380 Yoga

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You work hard. You’re flexible. When life says, “Go,” you never slow down. The sleek ThinkPad X380 Yoga is designed for you. This stylish powerhouse adapts to work with you-as a laptop, tablet, or anything in between. Moreover, hardware-level security features provide peace of mind when you’re on-the-go.

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The ThinkPad T590 laptop features a new narrow bezel design for a sleeker look and better work experience. The FHD power display is perfect for enhancing battery life even when you are in long meetings or constantly on the go. The ThinkPad T590 laptop is perfect for tackling those large spreadsheets and great for working with multimedia.

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The ThinkPad P53s offers the option of a stunning 15.6″ 4k UHD (3840 x 2160) display, available with Dolby Vision™ high dynamic range (HDR) technology. Enjoy increased brightness, expanded contrast, more refined detail, and colors that are super-vibrant—especially with 100% Adobe color gamut. Whether you’re creating or viewing multimedia, you’ll love the visuals!

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World’s lightest 14″ business ultrabookUltrathin. Ultralight. For the average Ultrabook these attributes may sound like a contradiction. But the new X1 Carbon is far above average. It features a carbon-fiber reinforced chassis and passes durability tests in extreme environments. Plus, it delivers more than all-day battery life, and includes faster, more powerful storage performance.

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Why Choose PC Expert Services for Computer Repair?

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Why Choose PC Expert Services?

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