Password Protection: How to Protect Yourself on MySpace
Password theft is one of the most common forms of criminal acts on MySpace and it is the primary way that thieves steal your MySpace profile. Thieves steal your MySpace profile for the purpose of spamming others and conducting other malicious acts.
Before you take steps to protect your password on MySpace it is helpful to understand how thieves steal your profile.
Hidden Flash File
The first step to stealing a MySpace profile is the criminal posts a message or comment that contains content that entices you to click on it. Inside the link is a hidden Flash file that hijacks you to a bogus Web page that looks just like a MySpace login page. The page leads you to believe you have been logged out so you enter your username and password into the bogus Web page thinking it is the real thing. The thief stores the login information in a file and then uses your account to spam other people. (Tip: If you are watching the URL address window in your browser you can detect if you are being hijacked to a bogus page because chances are that the URL address will be something other than MySpace.com.)
How to Protect Your Password
- Avoid Using Your Email Password: You can protect your password by not using your email password. A lot of MySpace users make the mistake of using the same password for their MySpace account as they do for their email account. Once the thief has your login information for MySpace they can use the password to access your email account. This also gives them they key to sending lost password requests to PayPal and other accounts. Since these requests are sent to the email account, the thief now has access to all of your other accounts as well.
- Change Your Password Frequently: Change your MySpace account password frequently to avoid getting it stolen. This is also a good idea if you think you may have accidentally clicked on a bogus website. If this is the case you can change your password before the thief has a chance to use your account.
- Bookmark MySpace: Bookmark the real MySpace login page. This way if it appears you have been logged out; simply click the bookmark to ensure you are logging back in on the real page and not the bogus one.
- Bulletin Messages: If you notice that bulletin messages are being posted by your friends and the message does not appear to be something they would post, chances are their account and password have been stolen. Make sure you notify them immediately so they can change their password.
- Keep Passwords Separate: Although it seems to be a hassle to remember a variety of different passwords, this is a must if you have different accounts such as a MySpace account, bank account, IM account, and several different email accounts. Keeping the passwords the same for all of them will ensure that the thief gets access to your entire life online, so it is worth the piece of mind to keep all your passwords separate.