Hi, welcome to Internet Safety for Kids and thank you for joining our program!
As always with our program Internet Safety for Kids, please make sure to watch this episode together when possible, so you all learn and understand these important topics. Don’t allow the adults to say that they already know everything because there will be plenty to learn for them, too!
Today we will explain you how important good passwords are, and how you can even protect yourself better with Multi-Factor-Authentication. That might sound complicated, but it is much easier than you think. And of course, we will do our best to explain it without tech talk.
We will explain why is it important, what does it mean, and what should you do. Are you with us?
Let us start with passwords. Think of your password as the secret code which will open the door to your account. The secret code that only you should know because otherwise it would not be a secret, right?
When we think of a password as a secret code, it gives us already a couple of things to think about. For starters, you will have more than one account and we do not want to have a secret code that can open all the doors. Because if somebody would know our secret, they could open all the doors. This means that we need to have a different secret code for every account, each account needs to have its own password. We call that unique passwords.
We also do not want our secret code to be something that can be easily guessed. So, when you would use for example your name as your password, everyone who knows your name can guess your password. We can hardly call that a good secret code, do we? What we need as a password is a secret code that we can remember and that is not easy to guess. We call that complex passwords.
When we think of our passwords as a secret code, we also have to make sure that nobody else knows our secrets, right? So, we need to make sure that only we know our passwords and that we keep it a secret only we know.
So, now we know that we must use unique complex passwords that nobody else knows. Not easy to guess and one password for every account. But when you have many accounts, and most of us do, how can we remember all these unique complex passwords? That is a lot of secret codes!
We developed a trick called Password Blocks Method when you want to create unique complex passwords which you can remember easily. It is really worth a try, so we will post the link in the description of this episode.
You can also use a so-called password manager. That is an app that stores all your passwords and helps you to create unique complex passwords for all your accounts. Most password managers can do that for different devices, so you can use the same app on all your devices and have them handle all your passwords for all your accounts on all your devices. Pretty cool, right? Once you start using a password manager app, you never have to remember your passwords. The app will do that for you.
You can find many different password managers on the internet. Some are very easy to use. Others are a bit more complicated. When you want to use a free password manager, we recommend that you have a look at our friends Older Geeks dot com where you can find all kinds of free software. There is something very important to remember when you use a password manager app. Make sure that nobody can access your password app because then they would know all your passwords for all your accounts!
OK, so we now know that we need complex and unique passwords and that we should not share our passwords with others. We can use the Password Blocks Method or a password manager app to help us keep our passwords complex, unique and secure.
Now we get to our next topic. Multi-Factor-Authentication that will help us make our accounts even more secure. Don’t be scared by the difficult title of this, it is easier than you think. Are you ready?
Multi-Factor-Authentication uses a combination of things to make sure that you are who you say you are when you want to access your accounts. For example, your name, which is who you are. Your password, which is something you know. And your phone number, which is something you have. Now we have 3 factors. Who you are, something you know and something you have. When you login to your account, you need to type in your name and your password, and when these are right, it will send a code to your phone number. Once you have that code, for example a 4 digit number, you enter that code and your account knows that you are who you say you are. Why? Because of the combination of something only you should know and something only you should have.
This example shows the simplest way of Multi-Factor-Authentication. There are many other ways, for example by using a special app that creates a new code every time you login to your account. That app then becomes the factor something only you have. Other ways are for example how Google does it, by saying “confirm on our other app on your other device that this is you”. It always means combining more than one factor to confirm that you are who you say you are when you try to login to your account.
Let us have a look at what happens when a hacker tries to access your account. They will need your account name. That is not too difficult to find out. Now they need your password. Maybe they have guessed it, maybe they have found it out because you shared it by mistake. Maybe they will even try to change your password by pretending that they have forgotten the password. It is not easy, but it is possible to figure out your password. With Multi-Factor-Authentication, the hacker will still not be able to access your account because the factor something you have is missing. In our example you would for example get a message or a code to login to your account and you will know that someone is trying to hack you. Or they will need to use that special app on your device which they do not have. Multi-Factor-Authentication will protect you against getting hacked like this. OK, that was a very long explanation, but I hope you understand what Multi-Factor-Authentication means and how it can help you to protect your accounts. Let us make some notes about what we have learned.
- Our passwords must be secret, complex, and unique.
- We can use the Password Blocks methods to make unique complex passwords that we can remember.
- We can use a password manager app to make secret unique complex passwords for all our accounts.
- Multi-Factor-Authentication combines for example who we are, something we know, and something we have.
- Multi-Factor-Authentication and secret complex unique passwords help us protect our accounts against hackers.