Monday October 9, 2017

Keep Your Passwords Under Wraps

Your best defense against hackers is a well-protected password. This week we’ll talk about ways to keep yours safe.

"I don't think you understand the concept of cybersecurity."

It’s pretty common to use the same password for multiple accounts. The password management company Keeper reports 87% of people 18-31 admit they reuse passwords. But reusing passwords is risky - when popular sites like LinkedIn get hacked, crooks will try cracked passwords at other sites. And if you’ve used that password for everything, everything can get hacked at once (like in the case of this Dropbox employee last year). Bottom line? If you’re using your Domino’s Pizza password on your bank account . . .  things could get scary.


Especially watch out for your email account. Think twice about using your email account password (or that password from high school) on anything else. Our email addresses are connected to so many of our other digital accounts (think Amazon, Facebook, iCloud); with access to your email address, criminals can reset the passwords to your other accounts. Worried? Check Have I Been Pwned to see if your email addresses or usernames have been found in any publically available breaches.

If 2-factor authentication (2FA) is offered - use it. Cybercriminals may gain access to your login credentials, but they probably don’t have your personal electronic devices. UD offers 2FA protection, and many other large companies – like Apple – encourage you to jump on the bandwagon and protect your accounts.

 

Pet's name as password cartoon "My password is so good that I've got to share it with you!"

 

3 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Password Under Wraps

  1. Don’t use information people can easily find on your social media accounts in your password - like your birthday or your dog’s name. Jimmy Kimmel knows how easy this info is to crack.
  2. Don’t reuse passwords across any of your important accounts. If you do get hacked, it’s better to do damage control for one account than all of them.
  3. Longer passwords are better passwords. Each additional character raises the possible number of combinations and time it would take to crack your password. According to Kaspersky’s password checker, the password daytonflyers would take a mere 9 hours to crack, but {I<3D8n-flY3R$} would take 355 centuries.

Passwords are like underpants: change them often, keep them private and never share them with anyone.

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