One of the main things to consider is that passwords are not as great as they used to be. With the help of advancing technology, there are many other ways you can access your emails, social media accounts, and even your phones.
Everything ranging from scanners to multiple authentication methods, social interactions, and more have cropped up as incentives or potential ease-of-access strategies to keep your information safe. So what are these alternatives, you may ask? Well, let us find out!
There are seven ways you can go about securing your passwords even more:
Social media authentication
Use a random word sequence
Provide an entire phrase
Have misspelled words on purpose
In this article, we will discuss more in-depth processes using a better alternative to password security. It is always essential to protect yourself no matter what!
What Is A Better Alternative To Passwords For Security?
Most people work with the functional understanding that a password is there to protect your information, obviously. Still, the depths one can go to secure their information has advanced dramatically in the last decade, to the extent that your body make-up can be used as a form of security.
Not all of the methods we dive into fit comfortably into most people's lives, so with that, we will be opening the proverbial can of worms and explaining what plans are available and how they make your information more secure.
1. Two-step Verification
Also lovingly referred to as two-factor authentication in some circles, it is essentially adding an extra security step onto an existing account in the off-hand chance your password is stolen. The two-step process details you one, having a viable password to access the account, and two, having a physical or alternative bit of information to gain access to the account, which in most cases would be your cell phone.
This extra bit of layering is unique because you require your cell phone to log in. Well, that's pretty difficult for a hacker or ill intent individual to get a hold of, thus providing your account with additional security and by association, protecting your data much more effectively.
2. Fingerprint Method
A step into the future and a welcome change from the past. This method would take a highly detailed picture of your fingerprint using a light-sensitive microchip to convert the valleys and ridges on the image of your thumb into a volume of 1's and 0's generating a personal code specific to you because everyone's fingerprint is unique.
The complexity of this is pretty deep in itself, and by association, you would need an up-to-date tech-wise phone to employ the system. This is because the software used to generate the picture and weave through the data your finger generates is pretty advanced.
That being said, newer phones have a choice for you to have a fingerprint scanner as your preferred safety method to access the device!
3. Email Authentication
Having access to an account's password is one thing, but by and large, most people take their personal email accounts security much more seriously over, let's say, a game account.
For this purpose, validating someone's email is often much more challenging to do because gaining access to it is more complicated.
Logging into the email at this point would show that the site, business, or general interaction you were requesting permission from has sent you an email to the one listed, requesting that you confirm who you are through it before continuing the course you were on.
This kind of authentication is almost becoming the standard in most business practices and even becoming common in recreational interactions, like verifying your email before making a YouTube account, for example.
4. Social Media Authentication
In much the same way someone is protective over their email accounts, social media is by and large a direct link to the inner workings of a person's day-to-day life and relationships.
Setting the stage for this means you would be utilizing your social media account to login to the preferred application or site you are looking at.
This would be done by attempting to log into a site and requesting you to utilize pre-existing information from your social network site, like Facebook for example, and using it as your login information.
The method obviously would link the two together and either save you time or cause a conflict of interest, and as such, is usually the deciding factor between whether or not someone would use this.
5. Use A Random Word Sequence
Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and in the world of passwords, it's the difference between wearing cloth and metallic armor. The more cryptic and varied a password is, the harder it is for someone to gain access, or worse, just guess randomly.
The random word sequence password type comes from utilizing a random word generator, your own mind, and making up random, unconnected words for your password.
This is usually done in combination with misspelling words with the sole intent of making it even more challenging to guess. A prime example of a random word sequence password would be something like "kittenconstitionalsaturationweightwater."
6. Provide An Entire Phrase
Just like in the movies, saying, or in this particular instance, typing an entire phrase as a password would be utilized just as you imagine, taking the same train of thought behind the random word sequence type and just having it make a little bit of sense.
In practice, this would look something like "The Flower Blooms at Dawn" or anything along these lines.
This one, while a bit more straightforward, is probably more popular just due to how easy it is to remember assuming you linked it to something you favored at a personal level and considered memorable in the first place.
It's worth mentioning that if you are obviously an avid movie fan, having phrases like "Bond, James Bond" and everyone knowing you love 007 movies, someone could link the two together.
7. Have Misspelled Words On Purpose
Here we come to the happy median of almost all the above word-based passwords combined. In this, you will have a traditional word-based password with slight changes to the word itself to give additional strength to the password itself, lending complexity along with it.
A prime example of this would be adding numbers and upper and lowercase words alongside a poorly spelled word for something altogether unique.
If you were going to make a password of the word, password, it would look something like this: "9A5ZvVyRD" While that may be rather difficult to decipher as saying the word password, it's this same bizarre logic that would make it hard to guess.
What Is Considered A Strong Password?
Now that we have a fundamental idea on what kind of unique passwords someone can make, how can you make a strong password, or what details make a password strong?
The quickest way someone can reach this conclusion would be to combine all of the above advice. Doing so can yield some genuinely odd results but make guessing the password itself next to impossible if done correctly.
If we were to take all the above steps together, ranging from random word sequences, phrasing, misspelled words, and add a dash of flavor in the form of numbers and symbols.
Assuming you are allowed to use certain special characters, you would land on something like the following: "Theoretical password seven up keyboard warrior" being translated into "7H3OrEt1C4l9a$5W0rD5eV3N^K3b04RdVV4rR10R!"
Again, hard to decipher, but with time invested, you could see the correlation between the two. With that kind of logic in mind, you would have to be crazy to assume you could guess something like that, with no hint leaning towards a possible solution.
Can We Do Away With Passwords?
The answer, in short, is no, because unless you are cutting yourself off from technology or electricity entirely, you will need some kind of password to gain access to some form of technology or account that is a core aspect of your life.
That being said, the password itself does not explicitly have to be one by the classic definition as we have gone over in this article, but the concept of cybersecurity will remain a staple until something entirely revolutionary comes into play.
Should I Use A Password Manager?
Personal preference and choice are what this question is directed at. Suppose you want a relatively straightforward online experience with fast interactions and effortless login times, sure.
The offset here is that if you are saving your passwords in a manager of some sort, then there is a record of your password on whatever layering you are using, in some small manner.
This may not seem that big of a deal but take into consideration what ease of access means. If whatever manager you are saving the password on has a security breach, like Facebook, for example, then the password for your account is now forfeit because you kept it.
Meaning whoever has the data log of saved passwords now has access to your account and information. Well, if you run with the logic of, "who cares, it's just Facebooking," well, how many people use the same password for everything?
How many of those people's Facebook passwords just gave access to their emails, which list any consumer sites they may be on, like Amazon, for example, which you can utilize to log into that, and then view credit card information?
It's a slippery slope, but the possibility is there, which is why passwords or some form of protection will always be a norm.
How Can I Protect Myself From Getting Hacked?
If someone has that many methods of getting their security exposed or getting hacked, what can you do to prevent it from happening, or do your best to attempt it from occurring?
The answer would be an avid amount of diligence in taking your time to provide an equal amount of countermeasures to every potential opening you have.
1. Do Not Access Personal Information On Local Wifi
While a comfortable life and accessing your accounts at whatever time you please is excellent, especially say, turning your local wifi on and checking your Facebook account is a pleasant experience most of the time, you are at risk.
Local Wifi networks do not have the extra security measures in place your traditional network does. Meaning anyone can gain access to your connection and can do anything from remote viewing to remote controlling if they are talented enough.
Do yourself justice and don't open yourself up to the possibility of a breach, and avoid viewing sensitive information over an insecure connection.
2. Turn Off What You Do Not Need
Having many background processes running can cause a significant tax on your phone or computer, providing a steady and constant link to your connection. If a security breach is made through the app you are using; the hacker directly links you during this process.
You can ensure this doesn't happen by simply closing the unused apps at the top right when you are done using them. Again, it seems excessive, but every step goes a long way to giving you a piece of cybersecurity.
3. Choose Your Apps Wisely
This one kind of goes without stating but don't utilize something you wouldn't trust if it seems sketchy or risky, and there isn't a lot of credibility behind the app doing what it's supposed to. You can usually find verified and credible alternatives elsewhere.
Risking your data or digital security out of convenience is probably the most commonplace error most users commit before being attacked and having their information stolen. Take your time, protect your data.
4. Use Different Alternatives To Passwords
Functioning on a one-size-fits-all mentality is a sure-fire way to get your information stolen, especially when it only takes one lapse in judgment for everything to come crumbling down.
If you are diligent with how intricate your password is for Facebook, make sure you go with something equally as extravagant for your Facebook, email, and every other aspect of your online identity.
It should be a complex, long, and difficult process for someone to collect information on you, especially enough to do anything damaging or harming, make their life hard, and invest time into your own well-being by going above and beyond the standard to protect yourself from the mediocre.
5. Be Skeptical On Which Attachments You Click On
If being too good to be true was an advertisement, this would be directed where it falls into play. Opening emails or links from friends, family, coworkers, or anyone of the sort has risked all its own.
You could be adamant in your defenses and take every necessary precaution imaginable but decide against your better judgment to trust a link from someone who has ill intent towards you and forfeit it all.
You shouldn't necessarily be paranoid about everything you are sent, but a healthy bit of skepticism goes a long way for your digital longevity.
Most computers have access to cybersecurity that will actively scan for threats and warn you if a link is dangerous even if you were to click on it, but this protection only goes so far, assuming you have it in the first place.
If you click the link, you are giving consent and opening yourself up. No amount of security in the world will protect you if you leap into danger willingly.
6. Erase Your Data
Removing traces of your residual online presence is an excellent way of cleaning the house and keeping information on yourself floating around to a minimum.
Doing so eliminates vectors of someone finding patterns in sites you visit and allowing them to gradually create a false image of you.
Even worse, getting a glimpse into how you might have completed your password or have enough information to forge your identity.
The ladder is the step you really want to avoid. With enough information on your digital footprint, would-be hackers, con artists, and frauds can create a false impression of you to attempt to gain access to these things:
Knowing sites you frequent
Games you play
How often you go on sites
People you know are all keen steps that help facilitate this process, erase cookies history and more to stay on the safe side.
Cybersecurity, or more importantly, your passwords, are going to be in harm's way regardless. The only solace you can find is how strenuous of a process you make obtaining your passwords become.
If you utilize all the above steps, add some creative flair behind them, back those choices up with continuous scrutiny of your online presence and interactions, you can be as safe as possible from a data intrusion.