One of the most common issues our Support team faces is compromised customer passwords. These passwords are usually for their email accounts, but can also be compromised website administrative passwords as well.
Usually we can catch a compromised account password fairly quickly; because we monitor traffic levels throughout our network we can determine if a website’s traffic suddenly jumps up unexpectedly. We also use industry-standard email monitor lists designed to combat spam, and we get notified if one of the accounts we host is tagged as being compromised.
Unfortunately, the leading cause of compromised passwords is that they are far too easy to guess. Simple dictionary words and common names that some users have as their passwords are quickly and easily compromised by the programs malicious users have at their disposal. Even worse, many users re-use the same password for multiple accounts, making it easier for other accounts to be compromised.
When customers ask us to just generate a password for their account, they’re often taken aback by the jumble of numbers, letters, and characters we give them. We’re not trying to think up the most difficult password to remember of all time (although we’ve been accused of doing just that once or twice!), rather we’re following specific guidelines to help create a secure password to help keep our clients safe.
Thankfully, there are a number of resources Internet users can take advantage of to help ensure their password security. Norton offers a free download that will help generate and store passwords, along with an online safe password generator that allows users to customize the criteria based on what their service or provider requires. There are also plenty of other secure password storage systems like Dashlane and PasswordBox.
(NOTE: These resources are recommendations only, and are not endorsed or supported by MegaNet. We encourage all users to research password security options, and choose based on their own requirements and comfort levels.)
Users can also use a site like How Secure Is My Password to check on the strength of their existing passwords. No, you don’t need to note the username, you just input your current (or potential) password and the site will tell you how long it would take to potentially guess it, and break into your account.
Remember, it’s not just your email accounts that can be compromised. Since we host websites, those passwords can also be guessed or broken, which can lead to site defacements or even worse, hackers implanting trojans in your site code that could infect visitor PCs. With all of the news stories that keep popping up, we don’t need to revisit all the issues that can arise with online shopping and banking websites. These providers have EXTREMELY secure systems to prevent intrusion… but users also have to make sure that their own credentials are just as secure.
We hope that the resources we linked above will help users develop stronger passwords to help keep their accounts (and their information) locked down and secure. If you’re a MegaNet client and have questions or concerns about your account security, don’t hesitate to contact us. Feel free to contact our Support team online, or call us today at 508-646-0030.