Over the last half of the month of January both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have reported that they have been experiencing cyber attacks coming out of China. According to the reports this hasn't been the first time that China has hacked into the accounts of reporters at their papers and even Reuters. The purpose of these attacks has been to gain and monitor the way that the United States portrays them in the media. Then on Friday Twitter reported in their blog that their site had been hacked into and approximately 250,000 accounts were violated. Rumors soon started to arise that there may be some kind of connection between the attacks on those news sources and the micro blogging network.
Since the attacks those news services have been working on tightening their security systems. Twitter has also sent out notices to the owners of all the affected accounts and have had their passwords reset. In the e-mails that were sent out and on their blog Twitter has suggested that the affected accounts as well as all other accounts change their passwords. Their recommendations for passwords are that it should be at least 10 characters long, have a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols and not to use the same password on more than one account. All of these are great but there are more precautions you should take on creating and maintaining your passwords.
Several sites have come to offer an option to log in using Facebook or other social networking site instead of signing up with a fresh set of credentials. Doing so makes setting up a new account easier but also leaves you more vulnerable to anyone that has already figured out your password on one of those social networks.
Sometimes you have so many accounts that you write them down to keep track. This practice makes it easy to retrieve your passwords when you forget them but it also makes it easier for anyone to get ahold of your passwords. If you are one that has the habit of doing so you should keep them somewhere safe from prying eyes. Most browser will ask you if you wish to have your password stored in your browser options. These stored passwords can then be password protected so that only you can have access making it a good alternative to simply writing them down.
Most people will create their password and wont change it the same until it has been cracked. In cases like that is already too late and your information has already been compromised. It is always a good idea to change your password atleast once a month.
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