It seems that the more personal online accounts we create, the more challenging it is to manage them. Ideally, we should change my passwords every three months and set reminders to do so. But it’s getting harder to come up with so new password combinations. Here’s what you need to know about how passwords are compromised and how you can keep yours safe:
Don’t Make it Personal
Many hackers will devise ways to run through likely passwords for your accounts using personal information such as your birthdate or Social Security number. About 15% of Internet users feature personal details like a significant date or a pet’s name in their password. Don’t fall into this group. Choose a password with no personal significance.
Dictionary-based attacks simply run through a dictionary of words to try to guess your password. If you’re using one or more simple words––English or otherwise–– there’s an excellent chance that this type of attack will succeed on your account. A massive 91% of passwords are so unoriginal that they feature in the top 1,000 most common passwords on the Internet.
Don’t use any known word in your password. If you want to incorporate a memorable phrase, swap out letters for numbers and characters, such as a “3” for an “E” or “!” for an “i.”
Download Sontiq’s Password Infographic for tips to help you create strong passwords and further secure your digital footprint.
Phishing scams send out emails that look like legitimate communications from known companies, such as your bank. The emails include a link that’ll typically prompt you to log in to the site. Clicking on that link takes you to a “decoy” website. If you enter your information on the decoy site the scammers record your login name and password.
You can protect yourself from these attacks by staying alert to this type of scam. Never follow a link in an email to a site that asks for your password.
Secure Your Connection
Unsecured connections put your passwords and other personal data at risk. Over 47 percent of Internet users report that they feel their data and personal information online was vulnerable to hackers. Add the fact that 57% use the same password for multiple accounts, hackers have a gold mine of information to steal from unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Never enter a password on an unsecured network of any kind and if you are using a public network, be sure you are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your devices.
Stay safe by making it a priority to change your passwords often. Another way to keep your identity safe is to enroll in an enhanced identity theft protection. With IdentityForce, your personal information is monitored 24/7 and you are notified immediately of any suspicious activity so you can act before any damage is done. Our identity theft protection plans feature a password manager, giving you on-the-go access to manage your passwords in one secure easy-to-use location. You also have access to a password tool to test strength and generate strong passwords. If anything does happen to your identity, IdentityForce will be with you every step of the way helping you restore your identity.