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February 24, 2011

The Easy Way to Prevent Password Theft

The Easy Way to Prevent Password Theft

Today: Tech, By Suzanne Kantra

Google recently announced it’s rolling out a two-step verification process for accessing your Google accounts — Gmail, Google Apps, Google Docs, among others. So, for example, not only would someone need to know your password, they’d need to also have to have your mobile phone to receive the randomly generated PIN code Google sends when you try to log into your account from a new Web browser.

I’ll definitely be turning on two-step verification when it becomes available for my account. I’m reminded, though, that I used to reuse the same set of passwords for multiple sites and services online. I knew better, but it was impossible to keep track of the dozens that would be required if I had a different one for every site and service.

I had a system, with different levels of passwords for different types of sites. I never reused my bank password, I used highly secure passwords for sites with private data and I used lower-security passwords for general sites that don’t store private data. It wasn’t a bad system, but if one site was compromised and my ID and password were stolen, the hacker could gain access to other sites.

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