INTERNET users are encouraged not to rely on passwords – and review their account settings today.
Cyber experts warn that anyone who uses large services with a lot of important data such as Google, Facebook or Outlook must act.
We have known for years that passwords are not a good protection against hackers.
But even strong passwords that you only use for one app at a time aren’t a perfect solution.
Now security experts at cyber firm Malwarebytes Labs are warning users not to rely on passwords alone.
“As computer and internet use has exploded over the past forty years, the number of passwords that each of us has to remember has skyrocketed,” the experts said said.
“It’s just not possible to remember that many passwords, and the number of passwords we need to know has probably exceeded the number we can remember decades ago.”
Cyber experts are urging users to employ password managers.
These are apps that save your passwords for you, so you can use complicated passwords without remembering them.
If you have an iPhone or other Apple product, you can already use iCloud Keychain to do just that.
But even password managers are not enough.
“We may have seriously overestimated their importance,” Malwarebytes Labs warned.
“For example, a strong password won’t protect you from a credential stuffing attack, phishing, or keylogging malware.”
Instead, the experts say we need to start using two-factor authentication as much as possible.
In this case, in addition to your password, you will receive a code – often via SMS – to log into an app.
“The simple act of having to enter a code from an app alongside your password is a game changer — it kills credential stuffing, password spraying, and brute force attacks dead,” Malwarebytes Labs explained.
“So from now on, my password advice is this: If you have the time and energy to spare, find a place where you don’t use MFA (multi-factor authentication) and set it up.”
You can usually find this in your password settings in every app you use.
Unfortunately, not all apps offer two-factor authentication – but you should enable it if possible.
Apple has even gone so far as to do away with passwords altogether.
iPhone Owners are encouraged to try a new system that will completely replace passwords: Passkeys.
It was added in recent iOS So first check if you have iOS 16 by going to Settings > General > Software update.
Instead of signing up (or logging in) to a website with a password, you use a passkey.
This is a digital key that you don’t need to remember.
And you simply authenticate who you are with your fingerprint (Touch ID) or face (Face ID) on an iPhone or Mac.
It’s just as quick to sign up and means you have a login that simply can’t be guessed or leaked.
Your passkeys are stored on your devices but synced across multiple gadgets using Apple’s iCloud Keychain – which already exists to track passwords.
Nobody can read your passkeys, including Apple.
And it means you can’t be tricked into providing a password by phishing — because you don’t have any information to share.
The ultimate plan is to make passkeys work on non-Apple devices as well, including Windows laptops and Android phones.
Both Microsoft and Google have been developing passwordless systems for years.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9504891/google-facebook-outlook-settings-change/ Every Google, Facebook and Outlook user needs to change their settings today – The Irish Sun