Don’t Just Change Your Passwords, Manage Them
It’s no secret that complex, unique passwords are hands-down the best armor against cybercriminals.
But in a virtual world where nearly every website we visit requires a user account and password, keeping up with them can be daunting. The human memory can’t retain the hundreds of passwords you need when storing a unique entry for each website you log into on a regular basis.
The result is two inclinations: remove the responsibility to remember passwords by reusing them or create simple ones we can keep up with easily. Either path is likely to make you the latest victim of identity theft.
More than ever, the way we construct our passwords will make our personal information readily available for hackers or will protect us from them. New technology for password breaking credentials has made many credentials instantly hackable.
The statistics are alarming.
Top Ten Password Choices Are Dismal
Even in 2020, a year with record cybercrime, the most commonly used passwords are the straightforward type that we have all been warned about. Even “password” continues to make the list.
Below are the 10 most selected passwords, and how long it would take a hacker to break them with a brute force attack:
- 12345 – instantly
- 123456 – instantly
- 123456789 – instantly
- test1 – instantly
- password – instantly
- 12345678 – instantly
- zinch – instantly
- g_czechout – 5 years (the symbol makes a difference!)
- asdf – instantly
- qwerty – instantly
Passwords Are Recycled Across Platforms
Not only are easy passwords easy targets, but hackers also exploit our tendency to get attached and hang on to our passwords for multiple accounts.
A 2020 study by Google revealed:
- 52 percent of surveyed American adults reuse the same password for multiple (but not all) accounts
- 35 percent use a different password for all accounts
- 13 percent reuse the same password for all their accounts
Reusing passwords across numerous platforms is one of the most common strategies in a cybercriminal’s playbook.
New Technology Helps Us Keep Up With the Right Type of Passwords
Welcome to the stage password managers, a tool to store passwords and avoid having to remember them all.
Password managers store your passwords and even help you generate new ones. Lots of options exist, even for mobile devices. These cross-platform tools work on desktop and mobile, are secure and take the guesswork out of keeping up with all of the credentials needed to keep your data safe.
With only 24 percent of us using them today, passwords will continue to be an easy place for crooks to hunt.
Many versions of password managers are on the market, with a wide array of features and specialties. An IT expert like Technology Advisory Group can help you decide which makes the most sense for you and can shore up the security of your business.
Call us at 401-228-6400 to learn about network intrusion prevention, malware protection, and data backup that will keep your systems safe no matter what.