Choose something between 8 and 18 characters, with at least one number, special character and upper-case letter. Make sure none of your passwords are the same, and remember, two random words are safer than a string of numbers!
There are so many rules surrounding passwords and personal cyber security these days; it’s impossible to keep track. Plus, with data leaks hitting headlines with the frequency of celebrity marriages, everyone’s looking for peace of mind. More and more people are using password management apps, and more organizations are installing two-factor authentication across their systems.
Google has already implemented optional two-factor authentication via-text message for personal Google accounts. Now they’re rolling out a new system: inexpensive physical Security Keys. These security keys are part of Google’s new Advanced Protection program, currently geared toward users who are at high risk for hacking (journalists, campaign managers, stalking victims). Security Keys are small, $20 USB devices with a digital signature that proves your identity. Even if a stranger has your password, they can’t access your account without the physical key.
John Sabin (former National Security Agency super-hacker) is “a big fan of this.” According to the expert, Security Keys are “the easiest and most secure” two-factor authentication method for the average person.
The New York Times tested Google’s Advanced Protection Program, and found that it’s worth considering. However, if you use a lot of non-Google apps (most people, at this point), it’s good to wait and see how the program develops. Google is currently working on making third party apps compatible with their keys, but integration depends on acceptance by both major and minor technology players—which may or may not happen.