You Need To Change Your Passwords Regularly
Passwords are as tricky to create and manage as 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, 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 will have been 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.
Just last year a report showed that 86% of more than 2 million breached passwords were identical to passwords that had already been breached. Don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s all being exaggerated to get your attention. If anything, there are too many data breaches for the news to keep up with.
4IQ published a report this year that lists a number of alarming statistics about how cybercrime is becoming more and more common:
- There were 12,499 confirmed data breaches in 2018 – a 424% increase when compared to 2017.
- The average breach compromised 216,884 records.
- 14.9 billion stolen identity records were exchanged by cybercriminals online.
Where Do Cybercriminals Get Your Passwords?
When cybercriminals want to buy or sell private data, they go to the Dark Web.
The Dark Web is a small part of the much larger “deep web” – the common name for an extensive collection of websites that aren’t accessible through normal Internet browsers. These websites are hidden from the everyday Internet — or Clearnet — users through the use of overlay networks.
If you use the same old passwords and repeat them across accounts, the process for using them against you is simpler than you might think:
- One of the dozens of accounts you use is breached
- Your account information (including the password, which is the same as the one you use on other accounts) is posted for sale on the Dark Web.
- A cybercriminal buys that info and uses the password to access other accounts you own.
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 on a regular basis. 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 strong encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher.
Let Network Security Associates Help
If you’re still worried about your password security, especially when it comes to policies in place at your business, then don’t try to handle it all on your own. The Network Security Associates team will help you evaluate your password practices and IT security in Las Vegas as a whole to make sure you’re taking on any unnecessary risks.
Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more: