Security: Password Security: 11 Common Sense Steps That Help Protect Personal Data
June has been a bad month for data breaches, and the month is only half over. Over the last two weeks or so, the industry has seen the business social networking site LinkedIn get hacked and some 6.45 million hashed but unsalted passwords posted on a Russian Web forum. Soon after, the online dating site eHarmony suffered a similar incident, with about 1.5 passwords stolen and posted on a similar Web forum. Streaming music site last.FM reported another incident in which 2.5 million passwords were put at risk. Blame certainly can be targeted at the Websites themselves, but the incidents also should serve as a reminder to users of the importance of good password practices. People increasingly are putting more of their lives online, from emailing to social networks to banking and ecommerce, exposing themselves to greater risk of having their passwords stolen. Here are some tips for making it more difficult for hackers to grab those passwords and gain access to users' personal information. As Jim Walter, manager of the McAfee's Threat Intelligence Service, said, "A secure passphrase may be the only thing standing between your personal data and those that wish to steal it. Password maintenance is simply an unavoidable best practice in today's digital world."