- How To Protect Against Hacking Passwords and Security Questions – Part I
- How To Protect Against Hacking Passwords and Security Questions – Part II
In our first part we explained how to secure your passwords. Now we need to look at other contexts where your accounts could be compromised. One is through guessing answers to your security questions. A person could gain this information by befriending you on a social network and through conversations learn enough about you to answer these questions. They might search other places for it as well, through people search services, for example. The operating system on your computer is another vulnerability that needs to be addressed, since so many people have their systems compromised through malware and hackers penetrating their firewalls. Lastly, the network connection you are using to communicate sensitive information with the services where you have your profiles is addressed.
Step 4: False Information in Security Questions
Never EVER give true answers to security questions designed to help you unlock an account where you have forgotten or lost your password. If the servers are hacked, someone knows details about your life that they should not. If they get enough of these details, they can pretend to be you and wreck your life with credit cards or malicious behavior pretending to be you.
False information on security questions also protects you against internal attacks from your own family members. Let us face the reality that a disgruntled wife or husband, a pissed off teenage son or daughter, your own brother or mentally ill sister with BPD, might want to cause you harm. Protect yourself. Do not give the actual city you were born in for the question In what city were you born? Give a city you have never been to before and which you have never expressed interest in. Make it some tiny, unknown village in a country you have also never said anything special about.
Step 5: Switch Operating System to Linux
Windows is notorious for its insecurities. Malware targets Windows, because it is easy to infect. You never hear of viruses killing someone’s Linux. That is because Linux is, by nature of construction, a secure operating system, if it is installed and configured properly. Linux was constructed to be more stable and secure than Windows and had the advantage of being built in the light of the revealed weaknesses of Windows. So it does not suffer the same weaknesses. If you need assistance installing Linux on your machine, contact Znovu Business Services for consultation. They are perhaps the best security and hosting firm we have seen in our many years in the IT industry.
Step 6: Use Secure Connections When Available
When you are using a service and it requires sensitive information such as a password or the answer to a security question, check to see if they are providing a secure connection. The link should start with https:// , not http:// . Also, there should be a lock icon in your browser’s lower right corner or some indication that you are using a secure connection. If there is no secure connection and the site is requiring you to interact with it regarding changing your password, logging in, answering a security question or changing its answer, leave the site without providing the information. Run away as fast as you can. Find a site that offers a similar service, but which is willing to practice secure computing on the Internet. Even if it is a large and famous site like Facebook, it is possible they might neglect security. Use the standards equally regardless of the fame of the site and you will keep yourself safe.
The Final Word
Take these steps and you have cut out a large number of the opportunities for hacking your accounts. You have no control over the servers where your accounts sit. But you can at least secure your end.