HARRISBURG, Pa., May 2, 2013 – Hackers are notorious for compromising social media accounts. Most recently, last Tuesday’s Associated Press Twitter account hack sent shockwaves throughout the Twitterverse. The tweet, which said that there were explosions at the White House injuring President Obama, also caused the stock market to fall 150 points.
Previous big brand hacks like the (fake) McDonald’s takeover on Burger King’s Twitter feed and the Cadillac tweets on Jeep’s feed in February should be all the motivation you need to get serious about protecting your brand and personal social media accounts with secure passwords.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tweeting, writing or posting about music, movies, current news, snake deterrent or even something uncommon like humane cat traps. Password security should be your number one online priority. If you haven’t taken a few minutes to generate unique and secure passwords, your accounts are at risk.
Hacker attacks are scary, especially when they have the ability to create an international uproar. Here are three easy-to-use tools to use to create new passwords for your existing business and personal accounts. Bookmark them so you can use them for your new accounts, too!
1. Random Password Generator
The Random Password Generator is a free password generation service. Passwords generated by the website are never stored on Random’s server. According to the site, passwords are generated and transmitted to users via SSL for added security. These passwords can be used for email and social media accounts, but Random warns that users should never use an online password generator for online banking or other highly sensitive accounts.
Multiple passwords can be generated by Random. This can be especially helpful if you’re planning to open up several accounts at once or around the same time. To get started with Random, visit http://www.random.org/passwords.
2. Microsoft Password Security Checker
If you prefer to generate your own passwords, the Microsoft Password Security Checker will test the strength of your passwords. Once a password is entered, the checker has four password ratings: weak, medium, strong and best.
According to Microsoft, the strongest passwords should be eight or more characters long and include different types of characters. Anything entered into the checker is not stored by Microsoft nor is it transferred anywhere over the Internet.
3. KeePass Password Management Tool
The amount of passwords you manage between your personal and professional lives can climb into the hundreds and maybe even the thousands. Storing passwords in an Excel document or on a piece of paper just isn’t secure anymore. The free, open source KeePass Password Safe management tool will store your passwords your passwords in a secure database. According to KeePass the database is “encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).” You only have to remember one password (your master key) to access all of your secure passwords. KeePass will also you to organize your passwords in folders and subfolders. Password notes, login URLs and password expiration dates can be entered into KeePass.
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