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Internet - How to log in to websites in a secure way

Nowadays Internet security is very important. To log in to different websites in a secure way there are several things we can do. Two of them are using a strong password and enable two step authentication.

A secure password is one which uses numbers, letters, special characters all mixed up, and with a length at least of 15 characters. Thus, secure passwords could be {V6c(W72W]z3K8ynE]?g or /Uj3BNxH'9gN*o}z"w#&, and each website should use a different one. The big question is, how to remember so many passwords and so complicated? The truth is that it's almost impossible to remember them, but we can write them down in a paper, but it's not the best option. The most recommended method is using a password manager.

There are many password managers available on the Internet, but the most popular are LastPass and KeePass. LastPass is an online manager, that is, passwords are stored on the Internet. On the other hand, KeePass is an offline manager, that is, passwords are stored on our computer. It is much more practical the former than the latter, but it's also less secure, precisely because passwords are stored on an Internet server, which could be victim of hackers attacs. At the beginning I used LastPass, but after a while I moved to KeePass. Both managers are available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Another thing we can to do log in to websites in a secure way is to enable two step authentication, which consists in using a physical object that we have, along with the password. The most common methods we can use to authenticate in two steps are a SMS, a mobile application or a security key. The former is the less secure of the three, because someone can intercept the SMS, while the latter is the most secure of the three. There are many mobile applications, but the most used are Google authenticator and Authy. Authy is more recommended than Google Authenticator because it has more options and is more updated. The most popular security keys are the Yubikeys, which we can find on the Yubico website. It is the most secure option but it also has a higher cost (a key can cost more than 20 dollars). And if you own a website, you must know that current CMS like Wordpress or Joomla have plugins to authenticate in two steps, which we can install for free.

Of course, logging in a secure way also depends on whether the web server has a SSL certifcate installed. Without it, transferred data through forms could be intercepted by a third party. For this reason, it's very important to check if websites we visit start with https.


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