Every internet user falls into one of two categories. Either they’ve experienced a leaked password or they’re at risk for a leaked password.
Consider the news reported in January of 2019 about a mega-dump named Collection #1. It included the decrypted and cataloged information of 773 million unique usernames and passwords. Additional chunks of data were also found up for grabs on the internet. Labeled as Collections #2-5, the mega leak added up to 2.2 billion compromised records.
Are you doing everything you can to protect yourself from the seemingly never-ending list of data breaches? Without data breach prevention, you’re putting yourself at risk. Learn the dangers of data breaches and how to create a unique password that will keep you safer online.
Dangers of Leaked Passwords
If your password was leaked today, do you know the dangers that could greet you tomorrow?
Even if your password hasn’t been leaked, hackers will always be part of our lives online. The truth is, they’re getting smarter and finding faster ways to crack password encryption codes. When it comes to the security of our passwords, we’re more vulnerable than ever.
A leaked password can give a hacker access to a variety of data. When online, we pay our mortgages, secure loans, pay bills, and share personal information with vendors we trust. And if you’re one of the 59% of people who use the same password for every account, a single leak could gain a hacker access to everything you do online.
Still think your password and data are safe? Learn how to add a few additional layers of protection.
Do’s and Don’ts of Unique Password Creation
A weak password is the equivalent of leaving a key in the handle of a locked door. It won’t take much effort for someone to get in. Creating a unique password is the best way to keep hackers away from your personal data online. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for creating unique passwords.
- Do focus on using a variety of characters in your password, including uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The longer your password, the harder it is for a hacker to crack. A nine-character password can be cracked in just five days, while a password with 12 characters should protect your account for 200 years!
- Do get creative with your password. For example, if your password includes a word with an “o” in it, use a “0” instead.
- Don’t use data in your password that’s easy for hackers to find, like your birthdate or names of your children.
- Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. You should also change your password periodically. Experts recommend changing passwords on important accounts or those without two-factor authentication once or twice a year.
Data Breach Prevention – Password Managers
If using a unique password is the best way to protect data from a breach, why do so many reuse passwords? Forgetfulness. It’s the number one reason people quoted when asked why they’re not rushing to create unique passwords.
If you can relate to their concern, there is a solution. Password managers generate and encrypt passwords, store them in a secure database, and input them as needed to grant account access. Using a password manager will allow you to not only have a different password for every account, but stronger and more secure passwords, without having to keep track of each one.
Avira offers a great Password Manager services for free. With one download, you can start creating, encrypting, and storing unique and strong passwords that will protect all your accounts, including streaming services, online shopping profiles, and bank accounts. If your password is anything less than foolproof, invest in data breach prevention to avoid a leak of your personal information.