Passwords are your first line of defense in protecting your private data.  Weak passwords are responsible for 81% of hacking related breaches. The importance of having a good password is the difference between being hacked within a second or not at all. Hackers are increasingly finding creative ways to crack your passwords; attacks occur every 39 seconds and they are going after everyone. Information is being sold and distributed on the dark web constantly and it is vital to secure your front door – your password.

Password Security Best Practices:

Password Length: The bare minimum character length of a password should be 8 characters. Remember, the longer the password the better. We recommend exceeding the 8-character minimum.

Personal Information: Never use personal information in your password. This means pet names, family, friends, places, events, and more. Hackers can find this personal information easily through social media and will most likely attempt using your personal information first to steal your password.

Password Complexity: Avoid using sequential numbers like 1234, alphabetical order letters such as abcd, and even adjacent keyboard letters such as zxcvb. Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols such as 7i^Xt!8j%k0Bf#1.

Security Questions: Security questions were designed to serve as an authentication function, but they can be the exact opposite and a hacker’s dream. The security questions can be extremely easy to crack. The answers for these questions can be found on social media and the internet everywhere. For example, a security question “Your brother’s middle name” can easily be found anywhere. If you are required to fill in security questions, avoid using easily found information.

Two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA is a safeguard that requires a second piece of information such as a code before you can log in. It is important to avoid 2FA through text messaging since hackers can easily intercept SMS messages. Instead there are many authenticator apps that are much safer such as Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator.

Password Reusing: Many people use the same password for either all or most of their accounts. This is a huge security risk and needs to be avoided. This follows using similar passwords such as Cloud1 and Cloud2. To avoid being hacked use a different and complex password for each account.

Bottom line

Your password should be impossible to crack. This may make remembering your passwords more difficult, but there are password managers such as LastPass to store them. Hacker motivation is not just financial, it also includes identity theft. When it comes to your password, you must be proactive to secure your information.

Being proactive includes finding out if you have already been compromised. An average of 95 passwords are stolen each second. HEROIC offers a free and easy way to check your email accounts. Our data breach scan is 100% private and secure. Protect your identity, contact HEROIC today!