Earlier this month, we blogged about data breaches and what steps to take in the event a breach impacts you. The 2017 Verizon Data Breach Report stated that 81% of hacking related breaches used either stolen and/or weak passwords. The takeaway is to understand the importance of good password management practices in your personal online activities.
Hackers sell usernames and passwords on the dark web and they don’t necessarily know the websites they apply to. They offset this by using automated applications to try to hack into various banking systems. This practice has been very lucrative for hackers.
Some hackers possess applications called “password crackers” to guess passwords in minutes. It is important to use passwords that are several characters and contain upper/ lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Consider making a passphrase that is a sentence. The longer the password, the harder it is to guess.
One thing many of us are guilty of is using the same password across several accounts. If hackers break this password it allows them access to multiple applications increasing your account risk further. Most understand the difficulty in remembering a variety of passwords so it makes sense to look into password managers to help with this issue. Typically these password managers make it easy to create difficult passwords to guess. Use a search engine and type in “password manager” to populate a list of options and review one that might make sense for you.
Mainly, we want you to be aware of your passwords and the importance of managing them as you browse the web. If you notice suspicious activity in any area of your cyber life it might be time to make some changes to passwords. Being aware of your cyber security is an important step as we move forward in the digital age and password management is a good first step to take.