The internet has created vast online networks to connect people at a lightning speed and changed the way we communicate forever. The incredible convenience of navigating and using the internet also opens the door for negligence among its users. Passwords allow access to many of your daily tasks and while this extra step of security may seem like a hindrance to the speed of access to the internet, the passwords you have chosen are in many cases the only thing keeping hackers at bay. World Password Day was on May 3rd is a day set aside to encourage technology users to layer up their online protection. It is a day that we certainly celebrate here at Cingo. We have seen first-hand many times what happens when clients create strong passwords and update them frequently…and also the aftermath when they don’t. It’s in that spirit that we remind you that it’s time to change your passwords.
Passwords are a tool used to safeguard private information, but if you are still using the same one you had 3 months ago (or 3 years ago!), you are vulnerable to hacks. Read below for risks associated with common security missteps…and please, go change your password!
As silly as it sounds, the most frequently used password is “1234567”. This grouped segment of numbers was the code for approximately 23.2 million accounts. It won’t surprise you to learn that all of those accounts have been hacked. A study conducted by NCSC revealed the most frequently used passwords, if any of these passwords look similar to ones guarding your internet accounts, it is time for a change.
Keylogger is software that logs every key you press on your keyboard. It can capture, copy, and repeat any card numbers, personal messages, and passwords you input in your device. While keylogging is a long process that requires more effort from hackers to breach, this tactic of bypassing passwords is not only possible but rampant. Again, changing your password frequently is the best way to thwart hackers looking to get into your private accounts.
Phishing is the infamous cyber attacking strategy that exploits information from the target user they are looting from. Through emails that look seemingly similar to known and trusted sources, hackers ask for passwords or important documents and this gives them a direct path into your device and its data. In addition to costing companies extraordinary amounts of money, phishing hacks can handicap the ability of businesses to operate. The importance of changing your password frequently is of paramount importance in preventing phishing schemes because hackers often hold onto passwords until the right moment to strike. On top of being aware of what a phishing scheme looks like, protect your accounts and therefore your company by changing your passwords frequently.
You get the point- change your password. But how often and to what? The first and probably the best advice we could give to protect your accounts is to change your passwords monthly. Passwords are like milk- they are good for a given period of time but once they hit the expiration date, it’s best to throw them out. Updating your accounts with a new password every month creates more difficulty for hackers and, as a result, keeps your accounts safe.
Once you have dedicated yourself to religiously changing your password, go a step further and make your password as hard to guess as possible. Phrases, names, dates, or number sequences are child’s play for hackers. Instead, create complex phrases that include numbers, symbols, capital, and lowercase letters. It should also be at least eight characters. Another way to intensify the strength of a password is to never use it twice. Give each account its own password.
Cybersecurity professionals have developed tactics that behave in the opposing way of hackers, called two-way authentication. This method is used to confirm a user’s identity by utilizing either a password or a question they know and a second factor other than the device or application being used. For example: if you are logging into your email on a friends device, two-way verification requires a code be sent to your phone number in addition to your password. This ensures twice that access to your email is legitimate and authorized by you.
The landscape is always shifting in cybersecurity. There are always new threats, new approaches, and new motivations. It can be exhausting and demoralizing to face it on your own. You need a partner who knows how the industry moves and is taking predictive measures to keep your business ahead of the pack. Cingo Solutions has invested heavily in new technology which helps our analysts stay ahead of the threat.
To learn more, please call toll free 1-833-CINGO-IT or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for your free security evaluation today.