Instead of creating a new username and password every time you download a new password-protected app, are you ever prompted to simply log in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google account instead? While this is certainly tempting (no one wants to scratch their head and come up with yet another unique login and password), you could be putting your personal information at risk.
Another potential problem is that if someone figures out your password to a particular social media site, suddenly they also have access to all the other apps to which you’ve connected it, making you more vulnerable to a security breach. Instead, Neil J. Rubenking of PC Magazine recommends using a password manager to give you a strong, unique password.
Not all tech experts are convinced that the practice of logging into apps through your social media accounts is necessarily dangerous, though. In fact, Fahmida Y. Rashid, also writing for PC Magazine, thoroughly disagrees with her colleague. In fact, she thinks that logging into a third-party site using your Google account, for example, actually makes your information more secure. Her reasoning? Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are familiar with security risks and are in a better position to keep your information safe, whereas other, newer companies may not yet have the necessary technological safeguards in place to prevent a data breach. She specifically praises Google because it allows users to enable a two-factor authentication, making it more secure.
While the jury may be out on whether or not the convenient shortcut is safe, there are other ways to secure your information online beyond password protection. According to Forbes, some people are ditching passwords altogether, and instead utilizing services like WiActs, which allow you to access sites through other means, like your fingerprint. Similarly Microsoft is working on a biometric ring called Token that would eliminate the need for passwords.
Passwords or not, be safe out there!