How to increase your online security

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by Brian M. Westbrook / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 11 at 10:40 AM

Computer attacks and personal information leaks have dominated the news and you may be searching for a more secure solution to weak, hackable passwords.

MORE: Heartbleed web security threat IS as bad as the hype

Sites, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook offer a solution called dual-factor authentication. If your password is ever compromise, hackers would need an additional element to access your accounts.

First, you'll want to enable this option on each site that supports dual-factor authentication. For example, on Twitter, the option is called "send login verification requests to <your mobile number>" found on the settings and privacy page.

Every time you log in to your Twitter account, the service will send a one-off temporary code to your mobile phone. Enter this code when prompted and you will be logged in.

While a text message verification code is one common method of this two-factor authentication, other systems use biometrics such as a fingerprint or retina scan to prove your identity.  Many companies use an employee's smart card keycard to add a second-layer beyond the basic password.

Those looking to reduce their password management overhead may find a password manager useful. Tools such as LastPass keep track of login information for the many sites you visit. When you visit a website, simply request that your password manager log you in and the tool takes care of the rest.

Of course, you'll want to use a super-strong password for your management app. Remembering one strong, complicated, password may prove easier than multiple unique codes.

Some password management apps worth taking a look at:

LastPass - http://www.lastpass.com
1Password - https://agilebits.com/
Dashland - http://www.dashlane.com

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