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The paranoid user's guide to password protection: 10 steps to better security

Robert L. Mitchell | Sept. 28, 2012
If you're dead serious about securing your online life, here's the crazy serious approach to locking down and protecting your accounts.

9. Use the strongest mix of protections on the most critical accounts. In addition to the obvious online banking and finance accounts, two of the most important online accounts to protect include your email accounts and the master password to your password management software. A compromised password management program would be catastrophic. And since your email address is probably used by most online accounts for password reset, a compromised email account can have a cascading effect. All the attacker needs to know is where you have accounts, your user ID and the answers to a few security questions.

For each of these accounts I use strong user names, strong, long passwords and two-factor authentication.

10. Consider biometrics - eventually.  Early attempts at biometric identification based on fingerprint and face scan sensing haven't performed well, nor has the technology caught on in a big way with users or device makers. But that could change with Apple's recent acquisition of AuthenTec, a maker of biometric sensors that could eventually be integrated into the iPhone. "There have been some weaknesses with biometrics, but those are finally being resolved. It's finally coming," says Siegrist.

 

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