2020 is well underway. Many of us are off and running with our new resolutions and some of us have quit them already. However, one resolution you can’t afford to give up on this year is better password security. Your passwords and cybersecurity may not have been on point in 2019, perhaps you managed to scrape by, but this year don’t take the risk because not everyone with lapsed security in 2019 got away with it. In this post, we look at some of the worst password security of 2019 and the lessons we can learn for better cyber security in 2020.

 

Facebook Demonstrate Why Dual Authentication Is Essential

You may assume tech giants like Facebook and Google have flawless security, but you would be wrong. Your passwords are not always safe when left in the hands of even the biggest, most tech-oriented companies in the world, as 2019 proved. Last year, Facebook revealed they had exposed passwords of hundreds of millions of users. For users not using dual authentication, this could be a huge issue. Without dual authentication, it only requires someone to get hold of these exposed passwords and they have access to your account. To protect yourself against such security faux pas from companies such a Facebook it is essential that you use dual authentication to ensure you can receive notifications every time someone tries to log in to your accounts. It also will stop hackers from accessing your accounts as your password alone is no longer enough to log in.

 

Lisa Kudrow Shows Us The Need For Password Managers

Whilst you can use two-factor authentication to mitigate the damage of mishandled data, you cannot control Facebook and other companies that have your passwords. However, one thing you can control is not making the same mistake Lisa Kudrow did in 2019. The actress posted a photo of her computer monitor and whilst she was focussed on the article about an upcoming role, others noticed a sticky note containing her password. Post-its certainly are not the most secure way to handle your passwords. If you are using complex passwords, as you should, then you might struggle to remember and manage them all. If you are struggling to manage your passwords, however, do not resort to post-its. Use a password manager to remember and organise your passwords. And, of course, don’t post them on Instagram.

 

Virgin Media UK Try To Justify Their Bad Security

Last year Virgin Media UK made a big password security whoopsie when a customer received an old password by mail after requesting a password reset. This was a clear indicator that passwords were not being encrypted. This, however, is not the mistake we are looking at. The mistake we wanted to address is their follow up after the understandably unhappy customer turned to Twitter to complain. The company replied, saying “Posting it to you is secure, as it’s illegal to open someone else’s mail.” This poor attempt at an excuse didn’t go over well. The lesson to take away from this is one surrounding your mentality towards password security – make changes, not excuses. The mistake is one thing, but trying to justify it makes it worse. We have all had lapses in our cybersecurity, but the key is not to stand our ground and justify it but to make the necessary changes.

 

Even if you’re a giant company or a famous actress, you likely have flaws in your password security. Thankfully there are ways to remedy and counteract these weak links. Use the lessons from some of 2019’s high profile password security mistakes to create better password security behaviours in 2020 though, and you can greatly reduce the risk of being hacked.