Passwords Here, Passwords There- Passwords Everywhere!

From the minute we wake up to the minute we head to bed, we are constantly signing into devices, social media accounts, educational websites, and even our smartphones! Currently, there are 90 billion human and machine passwords in the world. With the growth of IoT and the new devices connected to the Internet in every industry, guess how many passwords- both human and machine- are predicted to exist? 300 BILLION. (100 billion human and 200 billion machine). As Thycotic Security quotes, “All of them are potential targets for contributing to a projected $6 trillion in cybercrime costs by 2021.”

It’s clear that this massive cyber security risk isn’t going away any time soon.

Now, listen up, because I’m going to give you a break-down on how to protect yourself and BEAT the hackers. Let’s do it: 

  • First off- although it may seem obvious- do NOT. EVER. give out your password to someone else.
  • Always log off when you’re done using an account
  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts because if a hacker gets a hold of one password, odds are they will try and use it to unlock other accounts.

  • Change your passwords periodically, at least once every six months.
  • Use at least 8 characters, symbols, numbers, uppercase, and lowercase.
  • DO NOT USE common dictionary words or passwords that are not unique to you. Ex: “Password”, “12345”, “gmail” (for a gmail account)
  • Those security questions? Don’t put in an answer that could be found out if you googled yourself. Hackers do their research when it comes to their business.

You may be thinking: Ugh, but that would be so hard to remember. I’ll just stick to “password.”

 

Wrong! Try and come up with a personal or well-known phrase and change it to be more complex. 
For example:  Iam:)2b29! — This has 10 characters and says “I am happy to be 29!

Another tip is to keep a “clue” sheet so you can refresh your – and ONLY YOUR- memory of your password.

 

 

It may seem like SO much trouble for just passwords, but think about it: behind these passwords, is everything about you, your work, your personal life, and all your data! Our lives are now stored digitally! It’s worth the extra minutes to organize and manage your passwords. However, there is help:

Here’s a link to check how strong your password would be and one for safe, free password managers that help you do the job:

https://howsecureismypassword.net/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2475964,00.asp

Check out my app from 2 weeks ago to play a fun “Strong-Password” detector game: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/kg5-pnhm0eghHU5-RfLABw 

 

Thanks for joining me! Now go take care of your passwords and as always- stay safe!

Detective Guru