What do Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud all have in common? These are all online services that require a password. If you have an account with any of these services and you value your privacy, then you should be concerned with password protection. Knowing how to create a strong password for all of your online accounts can make all the difference in the world when it comes to protecting both yourself and your business.
Your Chances of Being Hacked
In 2013, Business Insider released a startling article explaining how 90% of all passwords are vulnerable to hacking. That doesn’t leave much wiggle room to not be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Meeting the minimum requirements for a password does not mean that you have a strong password, it simply means that you met the requirements of that site.
Some sites are making their requirements better by making you include both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as a number or punctuation mark in your password. Even still, many websites still accept simple passwords. For example, passwords like “12345,” “password,” and “qwerty” all could pass basic security requirements, but they still rank as three of the 25 worst passwords compiled by Time Magazine. Even more startling, in 2015 the IRS ran into some trouble when it was discovered that they were still using “password” as their password for secure systems.
To give yourself some perspective of how important password protection is, take a look at these numbers on recent widespread hackings that have caused outrage:
- 2011 – 77 million Sony Playstation passwords were hacked.
- 2012 – 400,000 Yahoo addresses were hacked.
- 2014 – Celebrity iCloud accounts were hacked.
- 2014 – 5 million Gmail passwords were hacked and released online.
Things to Remember When Creating A Password
With the risk of hacking going up, it is important to know what makes a strong password and how to handle the passwords for all of your accounts. When you are creating a password for yourself, consider these guidelines:
Don’t Use the Same Password for Everything
Creating a strong password doesn’t mean having one strong password for all of your accounts. A UK study for DailyMail.com showed that, on average, people have about 26 online accounts but they only have 5 passwords for all of them. It is important to try to have a different password for every account that you have. If you have one password for 10 different accounts, you’re making it ten times easier for a hacker to access your information across multiple platforms. Once he or she figures out that one password, that’s it – the hacker now has access to everything you do online.
Now you may say that it is too hard to memorize that many passwords, and there is some truth to that. That is why some people have turned to password manager programs like LastPass, which saves all of your different passwords for different accounts. This is much safer than writing all of your passwords down somewhere since you could very easily lose it and allow it to fall into the wrong hands.
Too Personal is Too Easy
If your name is Bill and your profile picture on Facebook is you wearing a number 15 sports jersey, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t use “Bill15” as your password. That’s way too easy for hackers.
Using a password that can easily describe yourself or what you do is not a good way to go. Hackers can very easily research you on Facebook or other social media sites to gather information about your interests and your personal life. Steer clear of using your favorite anything as a password. If your password relates too closely to one of your favorite things, it would be much too easy to guess after a few rounds of trial and error.
Password Generators Are Not Your Friend
For those who don’t fancy themselves the creative type, using a password generator is a fallback for creating a strong password. This method is risky, and in the end, might not provide you with the password protection you need to keep your website secure.
Password generators online give you tips on how to come up with a strong password for yourself that will be easy for you to remember. The problem is that hackers can read these same tips. These programs may be helping you create a password, but they are also helping hackers generate new formulas to guess more complicated passwords.
Password Protection is Essential for Security
An abundance of technology has brought with it an abundance of cyberattacks, with an average of 30,000 websites hacked every day. However, this doesn’t have to happen to you. As cyber security continues to become an increasingly more serious problem it’s worth it to take extra precautions to keep yourself and your business safe. Creative Click Media offers security and maintenance packages that you need to protect your website from hackers. Contact us today to discover a package that fits your individual needs.