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Posts Tagged ‘sqrl’

Login security & passwords – yesterday, today and tomorrow

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

The act of “logging in” – that is, gaining access to some private area in a shared space – has been with us since the early 60s with the introduction of time-sharing computers, albeit confined in those days to very limited professional circles. However, with the use of the public internet as a communication and social medium and the growth of the web as a platform for commerce in the past twenty years, remembering login names and passwords for access to all our online resources is as commonplace as remembering the birthdays of our loved ones. While we might remember at most ten birthdays (with the rest written down in calendars and diaries), the average person has accumulated, based on an anonymized survey of its enterprise accounts by the popular password manager vendor LastPass, about 191 online accounts!

78% of people use the same logins for different accounts.

Lest this seem like an absurdly large number, consider all the professional accounts as well as numerous personal ones accumulated over one’s online lifetime, many of which are quickly set up for some online purchase or commenting at an informational web site and then forgotten or rarely visited. These days it seems that even the slightest online activity requires creating an account and signing in. Thus, it is not surprising that most people reuse the same login credentials (user name and password) across multiple sites. Security experts have long warned against this obvious vulnerability, but who can blame the average user for choosing an easy path to manage this increasing burden of remembering multiple passwords. (Some recent statistics suggests that only 22% of online users in the US use different credentials for each online account.)

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Think you know how to protect yourself from phishing? Think again.

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

This year kicked off with a sophisticated phishing scam that fooled users and cybersecurity experts alike. Users were giving away their passwords to scammers through a seemingly legit Gmail login page. The scam had all the markers of a legitimate email, including the appearance that it was sent from a known sender.

There are many articles out there about the warning signs of phishing scams. We know the rules: Don’t click on URLs you don’t know, beware of emails that sound urgent or feel pressuring, etc. The reality is that many of these tips aimed to protect against phishing attacks would not have worked in the case of the Gmail attack.

Phishing

Gmail’s spam filters already capture many emails that display common signs of scamming (formal language, unknown senders, etc.). However, phishing scammers and hackers, in general, are becoming more sophisticated in their techniques. A greater understanding of security will help you keep up with hackers in 2017. Here we’ll dive into the details of what made the Gmail scam so unique and address some sophisticated phishing scam avoidance tips you can start trying out today.

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