It’s no secret that keeping your passwords private is extremely important. Though many people think they’re protected simply because they haven’t shared their passwords with anyone, it’s painfully obvious that security breaches continue to happen to both large companies and individuals.

It’s not always easy to take extra security steps to safeguard your passwords and account information, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort for individuals. For companies, Agosto has powerful two-factor authentication, even with single sign-on tools, which we’d be happy to explain and demo. We also have some basic tips, just in case something is stolen.

Just this week, hackers appear to have leaked several million stolen passwords, potentially linked to Gmail accounts, to a Russian forum. Though Google reported that its own systems were not breached in any way and that the account information was stolen elsewhere, it has just published a blog post explaining what actions they have taken to secure accounts. They also are offering a new feature called Account Checkup, that can help you check for suspicious account logins for your Google accounts. Account Checkup will also encourage you to update password recovery information and verify the other appications that have access to your account.

Since hackers have stolen a lot of information from lots of different sites, a Slate Magazine article today suggested a great list of precautions that as they “everyone always recommends you take”, including using strong passwords. That means using numbers, letters, capital letters and punctuation.

You should also use a different password for every site. Yes, every site, by at least one or two characters. That way, if one site is breached and your credentials are stolen, hackers can’t try them out on other sites and get access to other personal information.

Also, be sure to change your passwords once in a while (on a regular basis). And finally, start using that two-factor authentication/verification that we mentioned above. Agosto can help, or you can check out the Google two-step authentication page for your personal accounts. You can get an SMS message on your phone that is generated each time you start to login, which you need to enter to access your account. That way no one else can get into your accounts without also stealing your phone and knowing what to do.

Good luck, stay safe, and reach out to us if we can help.