Creating online accounts has become a way of life for us. We need them to shop, to access our utility bills, to communicate with our friends and family, and so much more! According to the Nordpass password manager, the average person has 70-80 passwords across many online accounts. That is a lot of passwords to create and remember!
In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of using a password manager to save the usernames and passwords of our many accounts. Nevertheless, it is essential to know how to create a secure password that would be difficult for anyone to guess. Why? Because having an unsecure password can put you at risk for identity theft and stolen finances.
There are multiple ways someone can steal your password:
This is one of the most common cyber attacks that take over user accounts, with a small success rate of 0.1%. However, when the attacker is able to crack into an account, it may be worth the effort, we don’t want to them that opportunity. The attacker breaches websites that contain usernames and passwords from consumers, and uses them to try various online accounts. They take advantage of the common practice of people reusing usernames and passwords, and hope that will give them more of a chance to get in.
This is when someone attempts to break into an account, by using every word they can find in the dictionary and seeing if that could be your password. If you are someone who likes using ordinary words as your passwords, this is something to be cautious of. The best way to avoid this is by adding multiple-word phrases, numbers, and symbols into the password.
This is when someone sends you an email saying there is something wrong with one of your accounts, and asks you to log in using the link included in the email. Of course, all of this is fake. They take you to a fake sign in page where they want you to type in a password, or other personal information. Once you do this, they have control of your account. The best way to protect yourself from this is to not believe it. For example: If it seems like an email from your financial institution, instead of clicking the link, go to your institutions official online page and see if the message was legitimate.
Now that we have talked about how our passwords can be hacked, what steps need to be taken to prevent an attack from happening?
Creating a Secure password
- Stay away from creating obvious passwords, create unique passwords that do not include any personal information. Do not use password, or 12345 as your password. Also, do not use your birthday or physical address.
- Make your password long – it is recommended to make passwords 12 characters or longer
- Use a mixture of characters – uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
- Don’t use common keyboard paths – Like qwerty
- Avoid using one word – use multiple word phrases that are random.
It is important to Zia Networks that our valued customers know about the products we recommend. Is your network and computers secure? Please reach out to Paul@zianetworks.net to find out more.