11/13/2020: 5 Tips for Password Safety

5 Tips for Password Safety

According to Shred-it’s second annual International Fraud Awareness Week Report, 46% of Americans believe they are vulnerable to fraud or identity theft based on their physical and digital security habits. Over half of respondents (51%) admitted to reusing passwords and PINs for multiple accounts, and 20% said they have shared login details with friends and family members.  This, coupled with a major seasonal uptick in online shopping can create some easy targets for cybercriminals.

Creating strong passwords should be the number one priority in keeping your online world safe. Having weak passwords could result in stolen identities, loss of data or money, and even the loss of a job and/or reputation.

You’ve likely heard recommendations for creating secure passwords before. Experts suggest using long, complex, and random combinations of words, letters, numbers and special characters. Follow the tips below to improve your password safety practices:

  • Improve the strength of your passwords. Strong passwords are usually made up of at least eight characters. They should contain numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as special characters.
  • Use passphrases. Recently, security standards strongly recommend using a passphrase rather than a single word. A good passphrase is one that is unique to you so that you can remember it, but is also secret enough that no one else can guess it.
  • Never use personal or obvious information in your passwords. For example, never include your name, email address, phone number, birth date, or any other information connected to you.
  • Never use the same password for multiple accounts. If cybercriminals steal your password from one account and you’re using that password on other accounts, then you’ve given them the key to all of the accounts where you’ve used the same password.
  • Use a password manager. There are free password management platforms that you can use personally and if your organization allows it, use a password manager to create, store, and sync complex passwords across multiple devices. Password managers only require you to remember one master password. Ask your internal IT (or other applicable) team to see if this is something you can do.

Strong passwords can protect your finances and personal information online.  Be extra vigilant this holiday shopping season to keep your information safe.  At work, if there is one available, always follow your organization’s password policy. Password policies are created to keep you and your organization safe.

Help to protect your family and your organization against cybercrime by improving your password safety today!

 

Article courtesy of KnowBe4