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Is Your Password Safe?

Posted on January 25, 2022

When is the last time you changed your password?  

With there already being one big cyberattack in the new year, we can only predict that it is going to continue to get worse. One simple task that can prevent someone from getting hacked is to constantly change your password, however this can often be overlooked. It is also very important to not use the password “password” and to make sure you are coming up with something that it is not easily guessed. Coming up with a strong password can seem miniscule to some but can protect you in a number of ways.  

Some things to remember when trying to come up with a password is to leave out dates and things that are important to you. A hacker is going to scroll through your social media accounts to try and figure out passwords you would potentially use.  For example, your children’s birthdays, activities you like to do, your birthday or any anniversaries are passwords to try and stay away from since they can be easily guessed with one quick social media search.  

Another mistake that some can make that seems so miniscule but can hurt you is to reuse passwords on every account you make. This can seem like the easiest option, however, if you get hacked on one of these accounts, all of your accounts can soon be hacked. It can be hard to remember different passwords for every single account you have, but in the long run it can protect you and prevent your personal information from being leaked. Also, having a two-factor authentication is becoming more popular.

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security system that requires two separate, distinct forms of identification in order to access something.
  • The first factor is a password and the second commonly includes a text with a code sent to your smartphone, or biometrics using your fingerprint, face, or retina.

This just provides your account an extra layer of protection. 

In order to not become a victim of a cyberattack, here are a few more steps you can take to keep your information safe in 2022.

  • Look into investing in a password manager. LastPass is a one of many apps that keeps your passwords safe. They offer a free version as well as a version for $36 per year. This is the perfect app that includes a password manager which safely stores your passwords online. According to LastPass, employees reuse a password on average of 13 times.
  • When creating a password, the UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) suggests using three random words in your password. This is the best way to create a password that is memorable yet strong enough to beat hackers.
  • Use fingerprint authentication instead of typing in your password. It is more user friendly, you can't forget a fingerprint, AND no one can guess a fingerprint! 
  • It is important to regularly change your passwords. The longer your passwords sits, the more likely it will be exposed to hackers. 
  • Make sure you are using different passwords for every app and online site. If a hacker is able to unlock one of your accounts by unlocking your password, this means he/she will now be able to easily hack your other accounts.

People overestimate the ability of websites to protect their passwords. Even the people with the strongest passwords still remain possible victims of cybercrimes. Let 2022 be the year that we all focus more on our personal and professional cybersecurity and safety. 

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