If you think “ABC123” is a perfectly acceptable password, it’s time for a wake-up call. Passwords like that are exactly the type of low-hanging fruit hackers feast upon.
The above may be an extreme and laughable example, but simple passwords put you and your organization in danger of being picked apart by a hacking data breach. Did you know that the most common way for a hacker to gain access to a system is by simply guessing your password? The weaker the password, obviously, the easier it is to guess.
According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report, stolen or weak passwords are responsible for 81 percent of hacking breaches. So, clearly, simple passwords put your sensitive information in jeopardy.
So, what can you do?
You could continue to believe that hackers will never target your organization. However, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, 3.8 million records are stolen in data breaches every day. The targets are companies and organizations of all types and sizes – some just like yours. It’s only a matter of time before the digital barbarians come to your gate. Will they be able to easily guess the magic word that gives them the keystrokes to your kingdom?
Not if you practice the art of crafting strong passwords, which are a must to keep hackers at bay. When building an impenetrable password, remember that longer is better, with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. Stringing together phrases in clever ways can yield a password that will leave hackers scratching their heads.
Crafting a password that has a special meaning to you, such as JN4e#87@GB (Jordy Nelson forever number 87 at Green Bay) can make it easier to remember while still using all the elements of a strong password. Just don’t write down the password (or the hint) and leave it anywhere near your computer. And, for sure, never share your passwords with anyone.
Once you’ve created the ultimate bulletproof password, don’t fall in love with it – even the strongest passwords should be changed frequently to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
Be especially protective of the passwords for your social media accounts. Hackers love social media, and not just for the funny cat memes – social media is a lucrative hunting ground for them. Staying safe on social media means not using the same password for multiple accounts and being sure to log out after accessing your account.
Also, a hacker scrolling through your social media page can learn more about you than you’d think, so be careful not to use any personal information in your password – including your children’s or pets’ names.
Don’t make yourself an easy target. Check out the video below for more details on how to keep your information out of the hands of cybercriminals.
The information contained in these materials is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on these materials. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in these materials.