Data breaches are often the result of a compromised password. If someone steals or otherwise identifies your password for an account on which your data is stored, he or she may use it to access your data. While hackers often crack passwords via a brute force attack, this isn’t the only way they can identify passwords. Another method is password sniffing.

Password sniffing is an evasive detection method in which a hacker monitors the connection between a victim and the login server. When the victim enters his or her password, the hacker will see it. In turn, the hacker will gain access to the victim’s access. While password sniffing is common, there are several ways to prevent it, including the five following tips listed below.

#1) Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) can protect against password sniffing. Rather than connecting directly to the internet — as well as the online accounts where your data is stored — you should connect to a VPN. A VPN offers an encrypted tunnel that protects against many forms of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, including password sniffing. Even if your connection is compromised, a hacker won’t see your password since it will be encrypted by the VPN provider.

#2) Install Antivirus Software

Running antivirus software on your computer will lower your risk of being targeted with password sniffing. Password sniffing often involves the deployment of keylogging software. A hacker may deploy keylogging software onto your computer, allowing him or her to capture your passwords and other login credentials. Antivirus software, however, may catch this keylogging software so that it doesn’t expose your passwords.

#3) Secure Your Wi-Fi

Don’t underestimate the importance of securing your Wi-Fi. While most instances of password sniffing are performed remotely, some of them occur locally. Without the right security protocol, a hacker may tap into your Wi-Fi to steal your password or the passwords of your business’s employees.

#4) Avoid HTTP Logins

You should avoid logging in to website or server that uses the HTTP protocol. If a login portal shows HTTP in your web browser, it means your connection isn’t encrypted. Therefore, a hacker may see any data that you enter and submit, including your password. Login portals that show HTTPS, on the other hand, are encrypted.

#5) Change Passwords

Remember to change your password frequently. Most cybersecurity experts recommend changing your passwords at least once a month. The longer you use a password, the greater the risk of being compromised.

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