Adobe hack and passwords

Following the news that Adobe has suffered a major security breach it is once again clear that when it comes to passwords you should be careful if you use the same one for multiple sites.

The trouble is we all do it. After all how else are we to ever remember all the passwords we have to deal with in our modern lives?

Just think about the sheer number of passwords you need to have every day. Your email, Facebook, Twitter, banking, shopping, iTunes, the list is almost endless.

So what can we do about it? Well recently Apple launched its newest version of the iPhone that has a fingerprint scanner. You can use this to log in to your phone instead of passwords.

However, even biometric security isn’t foolproof. This was proved within days as a German group of hackers showed that technology could be hacked.

The problem with fingerprints is that they can be left almost anywhere and if a criminal wants to go to the effort of retrieving them, they can. And once someone has a copy of your fingerprints you can’t just change them and get new ones as you can with passwords.

So this brings us back to passwords. They aren’t perfect by a long way, but at least if they are compromised then you can change them.

The best option is a form of two-factor authentication and this is becoming more widely used. In fact you can even set it up on your Gmail email account. This is something I have done because my account is very important to me and of course I don’t want anyone having access.

Basically until we can come up with a viable alternative, passwords are here to stay. What this means is that when choosing them try not to use the same one for too many sites. Perhaps do as I do, use variations of perhaps two or three different passwords for sites that don’t have any of your financial details. Then for things like PayPal, your online banking and perhaps sites like Amazon, use unique strong passwords and change them regularly.