How safe are your online passwords?

Data breaches, hacking, and cybersecurity issues have been front and center in the news as of late. Don’t look for it to diminish in the near term.

Today, we know that the number of devices are connected to the Internet will continue to grow and will remain a necessity in our daily lives, professionally and personally. And with that, breaches will continue to occur at an alarming rate. Professional hackers are counting on it. That’s right – Professional Hackers.

Today’s hackers are much more sophisticated than Ferris Bueller was in 1986, changing his high school grades before the Principal’s eyes. They are hyper-wise to our common password habits; using one main password, reusing the same password, or creating natural derivatives of it. And, if you haven’t changed them in a while, you’re even more vulnerable.

Where do you rank?

In a recent Telesign poll of 2,000 people in the US and UK:

  • 21% passwords used are 10+ years old
  • 47% passwords used are 5 years old
  • 73% passwords used are duplicate passwords used on other online accounts
  • On average, the people polled had 6 unique passwords for 24 online accounts

This is why ‘Phishing’, ‘Credential Harvesting’ and ‘Social Engineering’ methods are very successful for hackers to compromise accounts.

2017 New Year’s Resolution – Review your password protocol.

Whether you’re Ubering, gaming, binge-watching or day trading, it’s time to make your devices more secure – revisit all of your passwords!

7 Password Creation and Security Tips

  1. Use a unique password for each online service you use.
  2. Make each at least 8 characters. For more sensitive accounts increase the length.
  3. Use phrases to make remembering longer ones easier and harder for an attacker.
  4. Do not use easily decrypted hints, it only helps an attacker to guess your password.
  5. Do not use sequenced character combinations such as: 123456 or 111111
  6. Never reuse an old password.
  7. Minimize your exposure to internet and social media.

Have a happy & secure New Year!

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