You’re Not Using The Same Password For Different Accounts, Right?
Are your old passwords putting you at risk?
Old and repeated passwords are one of the easiest ways for a cybercriminal to penetrate your systems and steal your data. Passwords are as tricky to create and manage. Yet, they are vital to your daily life – both in and out of the office. Passwords grant you access to your email accounts, your office systems, and programs, your banking information, and your social media. Your life pretty much runs on passwords.
The problem is that we tend to use the same ones for multiple accounts (even though we know we shouldn’t), and often don’t change them unless we have to – this is extremely dangerous.
How Do Old And Repeated Passwords Put You At Risk?
Think about how many different services and apps you have an account with. Think about how many have your credit card information or your address. All it takes is for one of those to be breached, and your data is compromised.
And make no mistake, the rate of data breached around the world is rising year after year. You hear about data breaches, identity theft, and more on a seemingly daily basis.
Want to know why? Because people keep using the same weak and repeated passwords, even after they get breached:
- 57% of people who have already been scammed in phishing attacks still haven’t changed their passwords
- 71% of accounts protected by passwords wind up used on multiple websites
- 23 million account holders still use the password “123456”
How Can You Protect Yourself?
- Update Your Passwords: Say a site you’ve signed up for and made purchases from, or planned to make purchases from, gets hacked. Whatever password you had used for it is no longer secure.
The good news is that there’s a simple way to protect against this – change your passwords regularly. It doesn’t matter if a hacker has an old password from three years ago from that website you don’t use.
- Don’t Use Identical Passwords: If you’re not repeating passwords, then you won’t be vulnerable to further breaches when a hacker gets your info. But that’s easier said than done, right? As we explored above, you have a lot of different accounts – so how can you be expected not to repeat a memorable password here or there? It may be nearly impossible to do on your own, which is why you should use a Password Manager. A password manager generates, keeps track of, and retrieves complex and long passwords for you to protect your vital online information. It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers, and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option. Plus, it provides answers to security questions for you. All of this is done with secure encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher.
- MFA: Multi-Factor Authentication is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to the existing system and account logins. By requiring a second piece of information like a randomly-generated numerical code sent by text message, you’re better able to ensure that the person using your employee’s login credentials are who they say they are. Biometrics like fingerprints, voice, or even iris scans are also options, as are physical objects like keycards.
Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:
Ransomware Attacks Cripple Dental Practices Lacking IT Support
Can You Support Your Employees’ Productivity While They Work From Home?
Switching to Remote Work in Response to COVID-19
As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.