The message is clear, password protect your information, or you will eventually be hacked. If Fortune 500 companies are vulnerable to cyber predators how can small and medium size companies and individuals stand a chance against cybercrime?
We have a responsibility to do all we can to protect ourselves from theft. Extra precaution and smart decisions need to be made. An article I read stated that over 20% of people use passwords that are over ten years old and over 40% use passwords that are over five years old. You are not safe if your password is 12345 or the word “password”. In addition, over 50% of people use five or fewer passwords for all their online accounts.
A great tool to use is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Many websites use 2FA and it makes the criminal have more than your password to access an online account. 2FA uses an additional layer of protection beyond the password that significantly decreases the risk of a hacker accessing banking, shopping, social media and other online accounts by combining something that you know (a password) with something that you have (mobile phone), or something that you are (fingerprint). 86% of people feel that their data is more secure with 2FA. You can learn more about 2FA here.
The transformation to a paperless and digital society will continue. The average individual has much of their personal and professional information online. To be safe we must be proactive with security. In addition to 2FA here are great tips to help keep your information safe:
- Use a unique password for every online account
- Generate passwords that exceed the minimum of 8 characters
- Create passwords with a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and special symbols
- Avoid using passwords that contain common phrases, slang, places, or names
- Use a password manager to help generate, store, and manage your passwords
- Change passwords frequently
There are much better solutions than carrying your passwords on a piece of paper. Don’t be this guy.
We live in a world where people spend their days trying to obtain our information and assets. The hackers are not going to stop so our only defense is to make it as difficult as possible for them.