Industry experts recommend changing passwords to important accounts at least twice a year. With an estimated 2,200 cyber attacks a day, or one attempt about every 39 seconds, password management is more critical than ever. Most data breaches occur with compromised passwords. If someone can access your email, they have a treasure trove of information at their fingertips, triggering additional attacks.
Names of children and beloved pets, birthdays, street names—they are all commonly used in passwords that are meant to keep unauthorized people out of our most sensitive data. Information is easier to find online than ever before and cyber thieves are growing more sophisticated. The days of writing down a child’s birthday as a password on a sticky note and placing it under the keyboard are long gone. Passwords need to be strong and kept secure. Think of the big bad wolf checking each of the three little pig’s houses. Your passwords should be as solid as brick, protecting you and your personal data from potential wolves.
Even minor changes or variations of one password across multiple accounts make it easy for an unauthorized user to gain access to your information. 700 million users were impacted by the LinkedIn hack in July 2021. Data breaches have hit many large companies over the years—My Fitness Pal, Adobe, Facebook, Marriott International, Capital One—and no one company or business is truly immune. The best defense is the password you have in place. According to First Contact, 57% of those who were hit in a phishing attack, still haven’t changed their passwords.
Have you received an email or notification that there was a failed attempt logging into one of your accounts? That is likely your first sign that someone is trying to access your information. Avoid clicking on any part of the notification or email alerting you to the failed login. Open a new browser window and change the password from there.
Password Security 101 - Easy as 1-2-3
Keep it Complicated
Steer clear of simple dictionary words; randomize the capitalization and use special characters in place of letters. Consider lengthy phrases or statements in place of easy-to-remember names. Utilize multi-factor authentication and always log out of machines and devices when not in use.
Mix it Up
Use different passwords for different websites and applications. Once you have found a strong password (NOT “Joe567”), it is so tempting to reuse it. Don’t! On average, a single password is used to access five different accounts. Our Nerds find this to be a common practice and one that is putting you at risk.
Tap Into Nerd Know-How
From online shopping apps and banking accounts to email inboxes, social media profiles and updates to Microsoft programs—it is too much to keep up with. Our Nerds have simple software packages that will help you efficiently manage all of your passwords and keep your information secure. One of our friendly team members can provide a complete security assessment at your home or business and then implement the needed solutions.
While our world is full of digital access and ways to simplify our lives, data breaches are also part of that reality. We want to encourage you and empower you to minimize risk with a few simple changes with a technology solutions partner on your side. Let our Nerds arm you with the best defense possible. Give NerdsToGo a call today!